Introduction

Hot on the heels of the abolition of the requirement to renew licences, relaxing the restriction on the sale of liquor confectionary to children and new guidance on petrol stations we have yet more good news.

As a result of the Legislative Reform (Entertainment Licensing) Order 2014, with effect from 6 April 2015, the laws on regulated entertainment will be further relaxed.

Readers will be aware that a premises licence is required to enable regulated entertainment to be provided on premises. This licence may also authorise the sale of alcohol and the provision of late night refreshment.

When is a licence required?

A premises licence will now be required for:

  • Anyone that provides any entertainment between 11pm and 8am;
  • Anyone that provides amplified live or recorded music to an audience of more than 500 people;
  • Anyone that provides recorded music to an audience on premises not licensed for the sale or supply of alcohol;
  • Anyone that puts on a performance of a play or a dance to an audience of more than 500 people, or an indoor sporting event to more than 1,000 spectators
  • Anyone that puts on boxing or wrestling
  • Anyone that screens a film to an audience

When is a licence not required?

A licence is now not required to stage a performance of live music or the playing of recorded music if:

  • It takes place between 8am and 11pm; and
  • It takes place at an alcohol on-licensed premises; and
  • The audience is no more than 500 people

​A licence is also not needed:

  • To put on unamplified live music at any place between 8am and 11pm; or
  • To put on amplified live music at a workplace between the same hours and provided the audience is no more than 500 people

Exemptions

There are already certain types of premises that are exempt from the requirement to be licensed for music entertainment:

  • Places of public worship, village halls, church halls and other similar buildings
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Local authority premises
  • Incidental music - music that is incidental to other activities that aren’t classed as regulated entertainment such as background music in a supermarket (this should not be confused with a PRS or PPL licence which may still be required.)

The provision of entertainment consisting of an exhibition of a film does not need to be licensed if its sole or main purpose is to:

  • Demonstrate any product
  • Advertise any goods or services or provide information, education or instruction
  • Or if the film consists of or forms part of an exhibit put on show for any purposes of a museum or art gallery.

Do remember that these exemptions apply to entertainment only and are limited in scope. They do not exempt the requirement to be licensed for the sale of alcohol no matter what the premises are. Care should be taken that alcohol is not “given away” as part of the entry ticket price to an entertainment as this could be construed as the sale of alcohol. The sale of alcohol must be licensed by a premises licence or under the authority of a temporary event notice.

Finally and perhaps not most importantly, Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling will be deregulated between 8am and 11pm for audiences of up to 1000 people. Perhaps this reference will now result in my name coming up on Google searches for Greco- Roman wrestling!

Conclusion

The main changes are the extending the live music exemption to recorded music and lifting the capacity from 200 persons to 500.

This has been a good few days for the licensed trade as the Government seeks to de-regulate and reduce red tape. We have many more suggestions! For example, we are working with the Home Office and others to achieve a more efficient on line licensing regime and fee payment system.