The Licensing Act 2003 changed the way licensed activities are controlled and administered. The Act places restrictions on “licensable activities”, which are:

  • the retail sale of alcohol;
  • the supply of alcohol in clubs;
  • the provision of late night refreshment; and
  • the provision of regulated entertainment.

“Late night refreshment” refers to the supply of food or drink that has either been served at, or heated on the premises to, a point above the ambient temperature for public consumption. Such service, both on and off the premises, is subject to restrictions between the times of 11pm and 5am.

“Regulated entertainment” can apply to a wide range of activities in the presence of an audience, which can be just one person. Activities that have fallen within the scope of “regulated entertainment” include:

  • a performance of a play;
  • an exhibition of a film;
  • an indoor sporting event;
  • boxing or wrestling entertainment (both indoors and outdoors);
  • a performance of live music (including Karaoke);
  • any playing of recorded music; or
  • a dance performance (an exception is made for Morris dancing and other activities of a similar nature).

The Licensing Act 2003 (Descriptions of Entertainment) (Amendment) Order 2013

The Licensing Act 2003 (Descriptions of Entertainment) (Amendment) Order 2013 came into effect on 26th June 2013. The Order exempts certain types of entertainment from the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003.

The Order deregulates the following activities between the hours of 8am and 11pm:

  • performance of a play in front of an audience of 500 persons or less;
  • performance of a dance in front of an audience of 500 persons or less (unless it is a relevant entertainment within the meaning of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 ie. certain forms of sexual entertainment); and
  • indoor sporting events in front of an audience of 1,000 persons or less.

In addition, mixed martial arts are now licensable as boxing or wrestling entertainment and so no longer subject to regulation as an indoor sport.

The Order does not implement proposed changes to live or recorded music, whilst a further consultation on the partial deregulation of community film exhibitions was completed in August 2013. A Government response to this consultation has yet to be published.

For more information on how BHW Solicitors can assist with your licensing requirements, please contact Catherine North. Catherine can be contacted on 0116 281 6226 or by email at

Published by

Categorised in: ,

Tags: ,