Entertainment Licensing Law Reform

Update October 2013: Consultation on a proposal to use a Legislative Reform Order to make changes to entertainment licensing Internet Document  Opens in a new Window


The Government has announced that The Licensing Act 2003 (Descriptions of Entertainment) (Amendment) Order 2013 will come into force on the 27th of June 2013.






The Government is therefore proposing a reform of activities currently classed as "regulated entertainment" in Schedule One of the 2003 Act.  The consultation seeks views on the removal in certain circumstances of the requirement for a licence in England and Wales to host a performance of a play, an exhibition of a film, an indoor sporting event, a performance of live music, any playing of recorded music, or a performance of dance.


- Performance of plays: no longer requires a licence between 08:00-23:00 for audiences of up to 500 people
- Performance of dance: no longer requires a licence between 08:00-23:00 for audiences of up to 500 people
- Indoor sport: no longer requires a licence from 08:00-23:00 for audiences of up to 1000 people
- The Government will extend the key protections of the Live Music Act 2012, but raise the permitted audience ceiling from 200 to 500, in on-licensed premises and workplaces in line with the most other deregulated activities
- Recorded music: in line with live music deregulation, regulation for recorded music (mainly discos and DJs) will be suspended between 08:00-23:00 in premises licensed for the sale and supply of alcohol. This measure, like live music deregulation, is subject to controls from the local licence Review process.
- Exempt from most forms of entertainment licensing:

  • Community venues (including local authority)
  • Schools
  • Nurseries
  • Hospitals
  • Circuses

- Film exhibition: consultation in the coming months on detailed proposals to partially deregulate community film exhibition whilst maintaining important age restriction protections for children.