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Private Birthday Party

What consitutes a private event?

Q: I am in the process of planning my father’s 70th birthday which will be held at my pub next month. I will be inviting family and friends, including some of my pub ‘regulars’. I have also hired a DJ. There will be a free bar for invited guests and I intend to close the pub to the public on the night. I understand that as this is a private event, I will not have to comply with my licence conditions. Is this correct?

A: In short, yes, as it does not seem that you will be having any licensable activities. I assume you are not charging your guests for the entertainment so, as long as your party is for private invited guests only then the entertainment will not be Regulated Entertainment, and will not require a licence. It is important, however, to be clear in advance of the birthday party as to who is invited and a guest list is always a good idea. If there is any doubt as to who can attend there is a risk the authorities could consider the event not private but open to the public. It may also be a good idea to call a friendly Licensing Officer at the Council closer to the date just to ensure that there is no misunderstanding and prevent any unexpected authority visits on the night. Please also remember to be mindful of noise levels if the party is to go on late into the night, and monitor these accordingly as other legislation (e.g. Notice Abatement Notices) would still apply.

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