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You must hold a permit to stage a public performance of hypnotism for entertainment purposes - whether live or broadcast.

You won’t need a permit if the hypnotism is for the purpose of scientific demonstration or research, or if you are only hypnotising yourself.


You may also need a theatre or entertainment licence, depending on the venue and the type of performance. Ask the council if you’re unsure after reading your permit.

You may also need to:

  • hold public liability insurance if the venue’s insurance doesn’t cover your performance
  • add to any performance poster, advertisement or programme the words “volunteers, who must be aged 18 or older, can refuse at any point to continue taking part in the performance”

See your permit for the exact conditions you must follow.

How to apply

Apply to the local council. You will need to pay a fee, which will vary depending on the council.

Depending on the council, you may also need to:

  • apply at least 28 days before your performance (unless you have staged hypnotism at the same venue within the past 3 years without incident)
  • give details of your last 3 performances (when and where)
  • tell the council about any previous refusals of a hypnotism permit or convictions related to staged hypnotism


If you stage hypnotism for entertainment purposes without a licence or break any of the conditions on your permit, you could be fined up to £1,000.