Published: 25 September 2014
Q: I have hired out a room at my pub, together with the beer garden to a couple for their wedding reception. The bride and groom are organising a band and disco in the marquee in the beer garden but now I have realised that I am only permitted recorded music until 11pm. They want the disco in the marquee to end at midnight, and it is too late even for a late TEN. What can I do?
A: These situations are always a bit complicated but in short the Licensing Act was never intended to regulate private entertainment at events like wedding receptions. If you have had no involvement in the organisation or management of the band, DJ or indeed other musical entertainment being provided by the bride and groom and they (presumably) are not charging the guests for being entertained, then the entertainment aspect of the event isn’t licensable.
You are merely hiring out your venue for a private non-profit function and no doubt using your alcohol licence to sell alcohol. You therefore do not need to check what times you are allowed different types of entertainment as it isn’t licensable at all. The situation would be different if you had had some involvement in organising or managing the entertainment (not just booking or arranging the band or DJ, but even perhaps providing a smoke machine or amplification equipment) but it appears you have not.
You must however also check if you have any conditions on your licence restricting music events, because these may still ‘bite’ by virtue of using your licence to sell alcohol. In other words the entertainment may not be licensable but conditions restricting that entertainment may still apply (remember the Live Music Act doesn’t apply after 11pm). Lastly, music noise (even from joyous events like wedding receptions) can still be considered a nuisance under Noise Abatement Legislation, so you will have to ensure you carry out your usual noise checks, particularly given that the marquee will provide little or no noise insulation.
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