UK Licensing Act 2003

May 2004

Live Event Industry

The UK Licensing Act 2003 received Royal Assent on 10th July 2003 but is not expected to come into full effect until 2005. The main points are that pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and concert venues will be covered by a new ‘Premises Licence’ which will cover the sale of alcohol and any or all of the seven ‘regulated entertainments’ including performance of live music, performance of dance and the playing of recorded music. A one-off fee of between £100-£500 will be paid the applicable local authority and their will be an annual inspection fee to the local authority of £50-£100. Licence applications must be submitted to the local authority 28 days in advance and must include a plan of the premises, details of licensable activities and times of licensable activities.

The following is taken from the Department of Culture Media & Sport’s website under the heading Regulated Entertainment. Under the new licensing regime, the concept of a separate public entertainment licence will disappear. Under the new regime only a single authorisation will be needed to supply alcohol, provide regulated entertainment, such as a performance of live music, or provide late night refreshment or any combination of these activities. Six existing licensing regimes will be integrated into one, cutting at a stroke significant amounts of red tape. Accordingly, under the Licensing Act 2003 an authorisation will be required in order for alcohol to be supplied at a public house but the applicant will be free to apply simultaneously for the authorisation to cover the provision of regulated entertainment, such as music or dancing whenever desired. Generally, the authorisation in these circumstances will be a premises licence. The fee for a premises licence will be no different whether an applicant simply applies for an authorisation for use of premises to supply alcohol or also decides to apply at the same time for authorisations to provide regulated entertainment. Any difference in fee levels, which will be set centrally to avoid inconsistencies, is likely (although no final decisions have been taken yet) to relate to the rateable value of the premises so that use of larger venues is likely to attract a higher fee than smaller ones. The ‘two in a bar’ rule is being discontinued. This is a disapplication under current licensing law of the need for a public entertainment licence in certain situations, such as two performers singing of playing music, at a premises where a justices’ licence is in force.

See :

And see M Magazine (PRS/MCPS) Issue 11

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