Live Music Act: How will it affect TENs and pub discos?

By Poppleston Allen

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Premises licence License

Live Music: "It is possible for  the police and authorities to request live music related conditions to be placed on the TEN"
Live Music: "It is possible for the police and authorities to request live music related conditions to be placed on the TEN"
This week we consider how the Live Music Act (LMA) 2012 affects temporary event notices, discos and conditions relating to non-licensable activities.

Q. Can premises now hold discos without any such permission on a premises licence?

A. The LMA provides that the facilities for both making music and for dancing are no longer licensable. Therefore, there is no longer any need for permission to provide a dance floor or a mobile DJ, or flashing lights etc. If there are any structural changes envisaged to the premises then a variation would be required to authorise those, either by way of a minor variation or a full variation depending upon the extent of those alterations.
A premises licence would, however, still have to permit recorded music, in order that the music to which customers are dancing can be played at a level that makes it more than simply background.
Q. Can a licensing authority impose conditions that relate to facilities for making music or dancing, if these are no longer licensable?

A. Conditions relating to entertainment facilities will not apply if they are live music related (eg ‘Pub piano not to be used by customers after 10pm’). But imagine a case where dancing at the premises had regularly led to crime and disorder, resulting in a review. Could the licensing authority then impose a condition stating, ‘There should be no customer dancing at the premises’? We have seen articles that suggest conditions cannot be imposed on premises licences that do not relate to licensable activities.

It has long been the case that conditions have been imposed on premises licences that do not relate directly to licensable activities; for example, restricting the number of people who are outside either drinking or smoking, or the times that those people are outside.

Indeed, opening hours are essentially a condition controlling the hours that people can remain on the premises, not licensable activities. Such conditions will continue to be imposed on premises licences by licensing authorities, including facilities for dancing and making music, even though they are not licensable.

The question is whether or not they are enforceable. We would suggest that provided the condition is appropriate, proportionate and targeted, and is related to and imposed upon the licence in connection with the provision of at least one licensable activity, then the higher courts will find such a condition enforceable.

So, for example, if a restriction on the number of smokers outside a licensed premises has been imposed because of the noise they are making as a result of them consuming alcohol — related to the sale of the alcohol — then a higher court is likely to hold that such condition is enforceable on the premises licence as its fundamental purpose is to promote the licensing objectives, and it is closely associated and connected to the provision of licensable activities.
Q. Are conditions on a premises licence that are suspended under the LMA capable of being put onto a temporary event notice (TEN)?

A. You’d probably only need a TEN if you were having live music after 11pm, or for more than 200 people, in which case the LMA wouldn’t apply anyway. But perhaps if there was an additional licensable activity (eg showing music videos in the background) that wasn’t already licensed you may want to apply for a TEN before 11pm.

It is possible, in principle, for the police or environmental health officer to request live music related conditions to be placed on the TEN even though they would be suspended on your premises licence, but much would depend on the facts and whether it was appropriate.
It is not a backdoor route for imposing conditions that would otherwise be suspended.

Related topics Entertainment

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