Government Plans to Scrap Licences for Smaller Events

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has issued a consultation aimed at simplifying the licensing laws for events attended by fewer than 5,000 people.

Currently, events organisers have to apply and sometimes pay for licences for events which pose little or no risk of trouble, such as school plays, open air brass band concerts and Punch and Judy shows.

The consultation looks at all currently licensable activities and asks what would happen if they no longer required a licence. The activities are:

  • a performance of a play;
  • an exhibition of a film;
  • an indoor sporting event;
  • a boxing or wrestling entertainment (both indoors and outdoors);
  • a performance of live music;
  • any playing of recorded music; and
  • a performance of dance.

Where there is no good reason to continue with the existing regime, the Government will look to abolish it.

The consultation seeks the views of those working in the industry in order to ensure that any changes will not affect the underlying aims and objectives of the Licensing Act 2003, which are the prevention of crime and disorder, the prevention of public nuisance, the protection of children from harm and maintaining public safety.

Ministers confirmed that, despite the scope of the consulation, there is no intention to relax the rules as regards gatherings of more than 5,000 people, nor for boxing, wrestling and events classed as sexual entertainment.

The consultation can be found on the website of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The closing date for responses is 3 December 2011.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.