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Entertainment Licence

Photograph of someone playing a guitar

Entertainment Licences are issued by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (NI) Order 1985.

COVID19 Update

We appreciate this is a very difficult time for venues with entertainment licences, but we are encouraging them to continue with the renewal of their licence so it is available when normal activities can return. If venues have particular issues with fees or licence requirements don’t  hesitate to contact the licensing team so we can try and assist you.

New Policy

In February 2020 the Council agreed to new comprehensive policy covering all aspects of the entertainment licence process. However to due the Covid19 pandemic the introduction of this policy has been suspended.

Who needs an entertainment licence?

If your premises are used as a place of public entertainment you must hold a public

entertainment licence. This includes:

Indoor Entertainment

  • dancing, singing or music
  • indoor sport
  • theatre
  • circus show

It applies to private functions and any events admitting members of the public where a charge is being made.

Outdoor entertainment

You also need a licence to stage open air music events on private land.


You don’t need a licence for:

  •     garden fetes
  •     athletic events
  •     public exhibitions of work
  •     any music or singing that’s part of religious worship

Educational institutions and licensed cinemas are also exempt.


The table below shows the fees for an indoor entertainment licence.

Number of people to be licensed for

Annual Licence

Occasional Licence (14 days in a year)

Less than 100















More than 1000



Schools, church halls, voluntary organisations (holding a non-profit event) or charities wishing to hold an indoor entertainment event there is a set fee of £50

Please see the link below to the entertainment licence application pack for details of fees for outdoor licences.

Application Process

Premises that require an entertainment licence must apply, in writing, to the council, using the application form provided (see bottom of this page).

An application will be deemed made when the application form is completed and submitted, accompanied by the appropriate fee along with copies of certificates and documentation as detailed in the application form. In the case of new applications, 3 copies of premises plans must also be submitted

An applicant must, no later than seven days after the date of application, give public notice by placing an advert in a local newspaper, allowing 28 days for any objections to be made. Public notices are not required for applications for a 14-day occasional licence made by schools, church halls, voluntary organisations or charities.

Copies of the application will be sent to the PSNI and NIFRS for consultation purposes. Their comments will be also taken into when deciding whether or not a licence should be granted.

All premises will be inspected by a council licencing officer to ensure compliance with licencing conditions are met.

Determination of your licence application

Council will determine all entertainment licence applications within three months of an application being made (ie on receipt of completed application form, relevant fee and supporting certification)

However, where the council considers it justified, this three month determination period may be extended (eg where objections are received, or remedial works are required to meet technical requirements)

Applicants will be notified within 10 working days of any Council decision in respect of the application.

Tacit Approval

Tacit approval does NOT apply to entertainment licence applications and you should not consider your licence granted until you receive formal confirmation from us.

Contact us

Please contact us in the first instance if you have any queries in relation to entertainments licencing:

Licencing Section
Public Protection and Wellbeing Dept
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
Smiley Buildings
Victoria Road
BT40 1PA

T: 028 28262498