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Do I need a licence?

If you intend to sell alcohol, provide regulated entertainment or late night refreshment, you will require a premises licence or a temporary event notice, under the Licensing Act 2003.

Regulated entertainment is provided if you put on a performance for the public of plays, films, indoor sporting events, boxing or wrestling, live music, recorded music, dance or anything similar to these events.

If you have music which is incidental to the main event, no licence is required.  Background music does not need a licence. It is best to check with a Licensing Officer to be certain whether or not a licence is required.

Late night refreshment is the provision of hot food or drink between the hours of 2300 and 0500. There is no requirement for a licence between 0500 and 2300.

Temporary event notice licence (TEN) may be used to cover small scale events (lasting no longer than 168 hours) that will cater for a maximum of 499 people including performers. A TEN could be used for a small beer tent at a fete, for example.

If you are intending to attract more than 499 people you will require a Premises licence. You must allow a minimum of two months to apply for this licence. In the case of an event attracting more than 5,000 people we would expect a minimum of 3 months, and for events for more than 10,000 people a minimum of 6 months notice.

Guidance can be found on the Home Office website.

If you have any queries regarding licensing, please email

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