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What is regulated entertainment?

Regulated entertainment is entertainment that needs some form of licensing permission, such as a Premises Licence, Club Premises Certificate or Temporary Event Notice.

The following kinds of entertainment may be subject to regulation:

  • plays
  • film exhibitions
  • indoor sporting events
  • boxing or wrestling exhibitions
  • live music including karaoke
  • recorded music
  • dancing by the public or performers
  • any entertainment similar to live music, recorded music or dancing by the public or performers.

When entertainment is regulated

To count as regulated entertainment, the activity must be provided in front of an audience for the purpose of entertaining them and must fit into one of the following categories:

  • it's provided for members of the public (anybody can buy a ticket or come to the event)
  • it's exclusively for members of a (private) qualifying club and their guests
  • it's arranged by someone who is trying to make a profit.

The following forms of entertainment are always regulated:

  • entertainment provided to over 500 people (or over 1000 people for indoors sporting events)
  • entertainment provided between 11pm and 5am
  • boxing and wrestling.

When entertainment isn't regulated

The following entertainment forms aren't regulated meaning you don't need any form of licensing permission to provide them:

  • plays or dance performed between 8am and 11pm to no more than 500 people
  • film exhibitions held in a 'community premises' (such as a community centre, village or church hall) between 8am and 11pm on any day, to no more than 500 people
  • amplified live and recorded music performed on premises licensed for the on-sale of alcohol or in 'community premises' between 8am and 11pm to no more than 500 people
  • unamplified live music between 8am and 11pm to an audience of any size and in any place
  • indoor sporting events between 8am and 11pm to no more than 1000 people - excluding boxing, wrestling or mixed martial arts
  • any entertainment provided by and taking place in a school, hospital, or local authority premises between 8am and 11pm to no more than 500 people - excluding boxing, wrestling or mixed martial arts.

Please note - If music is found to be causing a public nuisance, it may be regulated following a review of the premises licence.

Other common exemptions

  • films which are solely or mainly to demonstrate a product, advertise goods or services, or provide information, education or instruction
  • films as part of an exhibition in a museum or gallery
  • tv and radio broadcasts, providing they are shown live and not recorded
  • religious meetings or services
  • entertainment in places of public religious worship
  • entertainment provided at garden fetes (unless held for private gain)
  • entertainment provided in a moving vehicle
  • Morris dancing
  • incidental entertainment.

Incidental entertainment is entertainment provided for background entertainment rather than being the main purpose for people attending an event, for example, background music in a supermarket.

Contact us

If you're still not sure if you need licensing permission or not - contact the Licensing team.