Apply for this licence

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Get a licence from your local council to hold live entertainment indoors.

You need a licence if people watch or take part in live entertainment on your site, including any:

  • dancing, singing or music
  • indoor sport
  • theatre
  • circus show

You also need a licence to stage open air music events on private land.


You don’t need a licence for:

  • garden fetes
  • athletic events
  • public exhibitions of work
  • any music or singing that’s part of religious worship

Educational institutions and licensed cinemas are also exempt.

Your council will have a full list of events you don’t need a licence for.


Your licence will be valid for 1 year but you can get one for:

  • 14 days within a 12 month period
  • 14 specified days in a year

You can also get a licence for an unfinished site, but this won’t be valid until both:

  • your site is complete
  • your council have confirmed this

You must place adverts of your application in the local media your council tell you to within 7 days of applying for a licence.

Educational institutions, church halls or other buildings used for religious worship don’t need to do this.

How to apply

Your application must be in writing, but you may be able to do this online.

You’ll have to pay an application fee, which can change depending on how many people your site holds.

Displaying your licence

Your council will tell you how to display your licence.

Fines and penalties

You can be fined up to £20,000 for staging indoor entertainment without a licence.