Published: 04 July 2013
Q: What authorisations do I need for Karaoke? I’m confused by all the different deregulation that has happened recently. I have heard that some activities are no longer treated as licensable but I am struggling to understand if Karaoke is one of them.
A: I think you are probably talking about the partial de-regulation of indoor sporting events, plays and performances of dance, which came into force on the 27th June 2013.
These clearly don’t affect Karaoke. However, the Live Music Act (which came into force in October 2012), has, to all intents and purposes, already made Karaoke non-licensable in many circumstances. This is because the Home Office Statutory Guidance on the Licensing Act treats karaoke as a form of live music, much the same as a typical pub band.
f therefore you are licensed for on-sales and the Karaoke is taking place within that licensed area; you have an audience of no more than 200 and the Karaoke doesn’t go beyond 11pm, then the Karaoke itself isn’t licensable, and any conditions relating to Karaoke will not apply during these times. The only aspect of Karaoke that may still need an authorisation is in respect of those Karaoke machines that show pre-recorded music videos – this, technically, should be licensed as ‘Films’ on your licence, although I would be surprised if an enforcement officer pulled you up on this point alone.
In summary, therefore, the new de-regulation of entertainment does not affect Karaoke but in many cases under the Live Music Act it is already not a licensable activity.
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