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Live and recorded music

Do I need a licence for music entertainment?

Whether a licence is needed for music entertainment will depend on the circumstances. A licence is not required to stage a performance of live music, or the playing of recorded music if:

  • it takes place between 8am and 11pm
  • it takes place at an alcohol on-licensed premises
  • the audience is no more than 500 people

You also don't need a licence:

  • to put on unamplified live music at any place (including unlicensed venues) between the same hours; or
  • to put on amplified live music at a workplace between the same hours and provided the audience is no more than 500 people.

Performing Rights Society (PRS) Licence

You will still need to apply for a PRS licence from the Performing Rights Society (PRS) if you wish to play any recorded music, including radio stations at a public premises or venue.

Businesses that might need a licence include:

  • shops
  • offices and factories
  • hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs
  • restaurants, bistros, pubs, bars and cafes
  • nightclubs
  • churches and halls
  • gyms, health and fitness centres and sports facilities
  • sports grounds
  • hairdressers and beauty salons
  • social or member clubs.

You will need a licence even if members of the public don't generally visit your premises as employees count as members of the public.

Apply for a PRS licence online