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Licensing Act 2003: 2013 update

The Licensing Act 2003 (Descriptions of Entertainment) (Amendment) Order 2013 came into force on 27 June 2013.

As a result of the amendments to the Licensing Act 2003 by the 2012 Live Music and 2013 Order, no Licence is required for the following entertainment activities to the extent that they take place between 08:00 and 23:00 on any day.

  • Performance of a play in the presence of an audience of no more than 500 people.
  • An indoor sporting event in the presence of an audience of no more than 1000 people.
  • The performance of dance in the presence of an audience of no more than 500 people.

Live music where the live music comprises : –

  • a performance of unamplified live music
  • a performance of live amplified music in a workplace with an audience of no more than 200 people or;
  • a performance of live music on licensed premises which takes place in the presence of an audience of no more 200 people.

You should note that existing Licence conditions relating specifically to such entertainment will have been disapplied however should the Licence be reviewed, conditions can be reapplied.

Live music is a performance of live music in the presence of an audience which is intended to entertain.  It is understood that the performance of karaoke would constitute live music.

The guidance goes on to reconfirm that live music in a beer garden is not regulated entertainment if it takes place between 08:00 and 23:00 on the same day in front of an audience of no more than 200 people.  This applies whether the beer garden is licensed or not as even if it is not licensed, it will constitute a workplace which brings it into the regulations.

As a result of the 2013 Order, a performance of play or dance or an indoor sporting event will no longer require a Licence to the extent that certain qualifying conditions are satisfied.  You should note that regardless of the size of the audience or the time of the day and dancing of an adult nature will always require an authorisation under the 2003 Act and if the relevant entertainment is provided on more than eleven occasions in a twelve month period the Premises will also require a Licence as a sex entertainment venue under separate legislation. The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

The guidance also clarifies that indoor boxing or wrestling cannot also be an indoor sporting event and that any contest, exhibition or display combining boxing or wrestling with one or more martial art is, whether indoors or not, a boxing or wrestling entertainment and will continue to require authorisation.

Unsurprisingly, the exemption relating to music accompanying morris dancing remains.

For further information, please contact our Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing team on 01332 340 211.

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