Charity entertainment

Related tags License Entertainment Officer

Q Please can you tell me if I need a PEL for a fund-raising evening for a registered trust fund for a local disabled child? A band, consisting of...

Q Please can you tell me if I need a PEL for a fund-raising evening for a registered trust fund for a local disabled child? A band, consisting of four members, including the girl's father, has offered to perform at the pub for a donation to the trust fund and we would also donate prizes for a raffle to be held on the night.

A Even though this is clearly a charity event and involves the family of the child, it is likely still to be covered by the law on public entertainment.

As you are probably aware, this performance breaches the 'two-in-a-bar rule, because there are four performers. So the relaxation which would have allowed you to go ahead without the need for a public entertainment licence does not apply.

Also, even though there is no charge for the entertainment and you are making donations, the mere fact of doing that will not create an exemption. The public are being entertained at your pub at your behest, and therefore you will need to be licensed.

But do not be put off by this. One-off entertainments of this kind will not need a full-scale annual licence with its attendant cost. All local authorities can produce a temporary entertainment licence for a single day, a couple of days or even a week.

It may be that some of the general terms and conditions will be waived, as long as they are satisfied that the premises and the entertainment are safe and not a risk to the public. As you have the public on your premises every day of the week, it should not require any major obligations or cost on your part.

The best thing to do is to talk directly to the licensing officer (if he has time to talk with all the transition applications going through). He may well come up with a solution.

Presence at function

Q I hold the licence for a function hall. Sometimes, people do not want a cash bar, so we supply the drinks to the guests on an arrangement by which the hirers pay in advance. Do I or one of my staff have to be present all the time during the function?

A The general answer is that, as the licensee of the premises, you remain responsible for what takes place there, regardless of the method of sale or distribution. So you, or someone with your authority, ought to be present.

In law, the consumption of liquor must take place under your supervision. There are many aspects of the licensing laws, including drunkenness, disorderly behaviour and consumption outside hours, for which you could be personally liable. You cannot abdicate your responsibilities simply because you have made certain arrangements with the hirers.

If you cannot personally be there for the whole of the function, you must formally delegate your control to someone employed by you. You cannot delegate this to any of the customers. Such a delegation ought to be in writing, to be on the safe side.

Temporary extension

Q I notice we have been asked to do a private function this year on 26 November, with an extension until midnight. Do we apply for an extension to the justices?

A It depends on whether you have requested midnight or later for your general hours on your new premises licence, which will have effect by then. If you have not, then you will need to give a temporary event notice nearer the time, when the application process is announced. You might apply to the justices anyway, in case the Second Appointed Day is postponed for some reason!

Related topics Entertainment

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