Deregulation of Licensed Entertainment

Napthens - January 10th 2013

The Government recently consulted on the deregulation of most entertainment activities that require a licence under the Licensing Act 2003. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has now published a response to that consultation, which is likely to have a significant effect on most types of regulated entertainment:

Plays
The proposal is to deregulate the performance of plays for audiences of up to 500 if the performance takes place between the hours of 8.00am and 11.00pm.

Films
Films will remain regulated, but the Government will consult this year on the possibility of deregulating "safe community-focussed screenings" whilst maintaining important child protections.

Indoor Sporting Events
Indoor sporting events will be deregulated for audiences of up to 1,000 if they take place between the hours of 8.00am and 11.00pm.

Boxing or Wrestling Entertainment
With the exception of the Olympic sports of "Greco-Roman" and "freestyle" wrestling, this area will remain regulated. Cage fighting and mixed martial arts will become regulated activities.

Live Music
Live music has already been partially deregulated with the introduction of the Live Music Act in October last year. At present, if the live music is unamplified and takes place between 8.00am and 11.00pm then it is not regulated. If the music is amplified, it is still not regulated, provided it is for an audience of less than 200 people and takes place in on-licensed premises or workplaces between the hours of 8.00am and 11.00pm. It is proposed that this will remain the same but with the permitted audience being increased from 200 to 500.

Recorded Music
Recorded music will be partially deregulated in the same way as live music, i.e. if it takes place in on-licensed premises between the hours of 8.00am and 11.00pm and is for an audience of no more than 500.

Performances of Dance
The proposal is to deregulate performances of dance for audiences of up to 500 if the performance takes place between the hours of 8.00am and 11.00pm.

Regulation will remain in place for any activities that go beyond the permitted audience size or the timings outlined above. 

In addition, there will be a number of exemptions from regulation for activities held on premises owned by local authorities, hospitals, nurseries, schools, church halls, village halls and community centres.

It is anticipated that the proposed changes will come into effect from April this year and a full copy of the response can be viewed at http://www.culture.gov.uk/consultations/9650.aspx