The festive season is fast approaching and for many in the hospitality industry Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve can be two of the busiest nights of the year, so it is vital that the most is made of these occasions. Those who keep a keen eye on the calendar may have spotted that Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve both fall on a Sunday this year, so if you are planning to host a big event then there are a few things to consider:
- Be sure to check the permissions on your premises licence carefully. If your standard hours for a Sunday do not go far enough then you can look to the non-standard timings as it is common for premises to have extended hours on these specific days.
- If there are no permissions relating to the specific days then remember that Christmas and New Year's Day are both Bank Holidays, so non-standard timings for Sundays before Bank Holidays will also be relevant.
- Check whether the non-standard timings apply to all of the activities that you want to operate. Being able to serve alcohol until 2am may not be so desirable if you have to turn the music off at midnight!
If you have checked the permissions on your licence and they do not provide the flexibility you need then you can of course consider applying for Temporary Event Notices (TENs). If you need to apply for a TEN on one of the key dates in the festive calendar then there are some things you can do to help ensure a successful application and event:
- Get it done early. If a lot of premises in an area have been granted later hours on the same night then the Police may start objecting to TENs on the basis that they do not have the resources to cope.
- If you are doing anything unusual or outside your standard style of operation then you might consider consulting the local police licensing team on your proposal before you apply.
- As always, check your TENs allowance and plan carefully. Remember that the premises can have up to 15 in a calendar year across no more than 21 days. A single TEN can cover a period of up to seven consecutive days, but there must be at least a 24 hour gap between two TENs. So if you are planning other events around Christmas or New Year’s Eve then you might need to include them in the same application.