The Licensing Act 2003 now covers Public entertainment.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport advice is quite useful and clear:
Any performances of live music that take place in private homes and gardens for private parties and weddings will not be licensable unless the host charges guests to attend and with the intention of making a profit.”
Generally though – most functions are held at a hotel, restaurant or similar sort of venue, who should already hold an appropriate licence covering both the supply of alcohol and what types entertainment are allowed.
If you intend to hold an event at another type venue different from those above – you can apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) from your local authority. (see our FAQ on “ten” )
It’s a good idea to check in good time, well before your event, with your local authority or at The Department for Culture, Media and Sport for more guidance.
PRS for music who collect royalties on behalf of composers and publishers does not require a licence for a private event. Their guidance is:
“PRS for Music does not make a charge for functions of a purely domestic or family nature, such as wedding receptions, christening parties or domestic birthday parties, when: attendance of guests is by personal invitation only (except for staff, performers, etc.); the function is held in a privately-booked room, not at that time open to the general public; there is no form of charge made for admission; there is no financial gain to the function’s organiser or host (e.g. the person hiring the venue).”