If you’re holding an outdoor event, there are lots of things you need to remember to get sorted, but one thing which might slip your mind is whether or not you need an alcohol licence.
It’s not something most of us have a lot of knowledge about and it could seem more complicated than it actually is.
However, it’s actually nowhere near as confusing as you might think, so read on to find out if you need one.
Do I Need One?
The simple answer is: maybe! What it comes down to is whether or not you’re going to actually be selling alcohol as part of a cash bar or as part of a ticket price, or simply giving it away.
You can give away as much alcohol as you want if you’re feeling generous and you won’t need a licence, but as soon as you do charge for any, then you will need one.
How Do I Get One?
If it transpires that you are going to need a licence for your event, don’t worry, because they’re relatively easy to get hold of, thanks to a piece of legislation known as the Licensing Act 2003, which allows you to be granted what is known as a ‘Temporary Event Notice’ (TEN).
If you’re having your bar run by a professional company, then they will likely be able to sort this out for you, but otherwise, it’s quite a straightforward process.
The first thing you need to do is find your local council and find the application form for a TEN.
Once you’ve filled this out, send it back to the local authority, with the fee of £21 and wait to see if it’s accepted.
The vast majority of applications will be accepted unless the council have any reason to believe that the event might cause any disturbance or if they have any health and safety concerns.
Then, you just need to sit back and wait. The council should get back to you within 28 days, so we recommend that you’re applying for this at least a few weeks before the day of the event.
If this all sounds like a bit too much hassle, don’t worry, because companies such as Hospitality Training Solutions can manage the whole process for you if you wish, leaving you to get on with organising the rest of your event.
It’s worth getting in touch with the person who owns the land on which the event is going to be held, as many might already hold a premises licence that you’d be able to use.
If they do, it still may not be suitable for your event, or the owner might be reluctant to let you use it for a one-off event, for fear that you might just disrespect the land and the conditions of the licence and then leave.
Another thing to check if you’re going to use the landowner’s licence is whether or not they have held any other events throughout the year, as they may have exceeded the 28-day planning limit on events per year.
Finally, ask whether there are any listed buildings on the lands because there could also be restrictions on events if this is the case.