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Licensed for music but it’s too hot in the pub

Do I need to vary my licence?

Q:  I own a pub on a high street. There is a condition on my licence that says when live music is playing, all doors and windows must be closed. I don’t play music during the day but I often have live bands playing in the evening. In this hot weather, the pub is getting very warm and stuffy in the evening and I am missing out on business. Can you let me know what I need to do to remove the condition?

A:  If you want to remove this condition in its entirety you will need to vary your premises licence. Depending on the reason for the condition being there in the first place, you may be faced with objection from local residents or your local Environmental Health Officer, and you may wish to discuss your proposals with them before submitting your application.

Alternatively, you could leave the condition on your premises licence but take advantage of the Live Music Act 2012.

If the bar is open for the sale of alcohol and you have live amplified music playing, with a capacity of up to 500 and up until 11pm, any live music related conditions on the premises licence will not apply. The same applies for unamplified music, although there is no restriction on capacity. Relying on the Live Music Act means that you could have your doors and windows open until 11pm whilst the band is playing.

You should take care with this approach, as if you cause any noise nuisance you may be subject to enforcement action, which could include a Noise Abatement Notice being served or your premises licence could even be reviewed. In some temperatures, there may be health and safety implications for your customers and staff and you should make sure you’re taking the necessary actions. Speak to your local authority Health and Safety officer or legal adviser if in doubt. 

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