Applying for a TEN

FAQs: Temporary Event Notices

Negotiating your way through the event-licensing minefield can leave you feeling frazzled. We asked a senior licensing officer to answer the most commonly-asked questions relating to Temporary Event Notices (TENs).

Why do I need a TEN?

Historically, a TEN was required for the sale of alcohol and/or for ‘regulated entertainment’, however many of the activities outlined as ‘regulated entertainment’ have now been deregulated (from 6 April 2015). A TEN is still required for the supply of alcohol i.e. sale by retail and ‘proxy’ sales (drinks included in the ticket price, donations for alcohol).

You need a TEN for the sale (or supply) of alcohol and/or for ‘regulated entertainment’. There are three types of licence:

  1. Club premises certificate
  2. Premises licence
  3. Temporary Event Notice

An application for a premises licence, which includes the sale of alcohol, costs between £100-£635. During the 28-day application period, an advert must be placed in the newspaper (cost circa £250-£300). If/when the licence is granted there is an annual charge, ranging from £70-£350. A TEN costs £21 and is, in effect, a temporary licence authorising ‘regulated entertainment’ and/or the sale of alcohol.

As a result of deregulatory changes that have amended the 2003 Act, NO LICENCE IS REQUIRED for the following activities:

  • Plays: no licence is required for performances between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
  • Dance: no licence is required for performances between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500.
  • Films: no licence is required for ‘not-for-profit’ film exhibition held in community premises between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day provided that the audience does not exceed 500 and the organiser (a) gets consent to the screening from a person who is responsible for the premises; and (b) ensures that each such screening abides by age classification ratings. The deregulation guidance further explains, “Under this exemption, one condition is that the film entertainment is not being provided with a view to profit. An entry charge does not of itself make the film entertainment licensable; it is whether the organiser intended to make a profit (that includes raising money for charity). A charge or contribution that is made solely to cover the costs of the film screening is consistent with ‘not being provided with a view to profit’. The ‘not with a view to profit’ condition applies solely to the activity of exhibiting the film under this exemption. A charge with a view to making a profit may legitimately be levied for any other activity or event that is distinct from film admission, such as the provision of refreshments, film talks, or a social event.”
  • Indoor sporting events: no licence is required for an event between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that those present do not exceed 1,000.
  • Music: no licence is required for a performance involving amplified live music and/or recorded music between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, at a non-residential premises, provided that the audience does not exceed 500, and the organiser gets consent for the performance on the relevant premises from the local authority concerned.

If the venue you are holding your event in holds a premises licence for ‘regulated entertainment’, your organisation would be covered by this, and a TEN would only be required for the sale of alcohol if applicable.

Who should apply for a TEN and how many can we get?

The person who applies should be the one who will be responsible at the event to ensure the licensing objectives are met. Any premises can only be used for 12 temporary events per year, up to a maximum of 21 days (the maximum time limit for each event is seven days).

What are the benefits of getting a premises licence?

A premises licence is preferable, giving cover for any number of events up to 5,000 people. If you want a premises license for ‘regulated entertainment’ only and do not have the sale of alcohol included as an authorised activity, there is no fee. Many venues already have this, so it’s worth checking. Applications include a 28-day consultation process. This involves you copying your application to nine separate bodies (including the police, Trading Standards and the HSE), posting a notice on your premises and placing an ad in the local press. If you include the provision of alcohol on the licence you will need a DPS (Designated Premises Supervisor) and you will be charged an application fee as well as an annual fee. If you don’t have alcohol included as part of the licence, you simply need to apply for a TEN to cover the sale of alcohol at each event.

Our next event is likely to exceed the limit of 499 attendees, what do we do?

Contact your local Licensing Authority immediately! The limit for participants under the authority of a TEN is 499, including helpers. You may need to apply for a premises licence for this event. As a rule of thumb, allow two months from applying for a premises licence to it being granted. This allows for a 28 day consultation process and a licensing committee hearing if there are objections.

We’re holding a wine-tasting evening, with alcohol supplied for tasting purposes only. We don’t need a TEN, right?

Wrong! In my view this is classified as the ‘supply of alcohol’. The ‘supply of alcohol’ is defined in the Licensing Act as: ‘the sale by retail of alcohol, or the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of the club.’ This means that ‘sale’ includes prepaying for a ticket then getting a ‘free’ alcoholic drink as part of an all-inclusive ticket. Alcohol is only ‘free’ if given unconditionally. It costs £21 for a TEN, so really it isn’t worth a member spending hours of their life trying to find a way to circumvent licensing laws!

Does a disco count as ‘regulated entertainment’? Do we need a TEN, a PRS for Music or a PPL Licence?

A TEN is not required for discos held between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day, provided that the audience does not exceed 500. A PRS for Music and PPL Licence are needed to ensure that royalties are distributed to the musical artists you are listening to.

We’re holding a film night – do we need a TEN and a Single Title Screening Licence?

If the venue in which you are holding your event does not hold a premises licence, you may need a TEN, because film is currently classified as ‘regulated entertainment’. This is unless you are holding a ‘not-for-profit’ film exhibition held in community premises between 08.00 and 23.00 on any day provided that the audience does not exceed 500.

The Single Title Screening Licence is nothing to do with the Local Authority – these should be obtained from the company representing the studio for the film you are screening. A PRS for Music licence will also be needed to cover the film soundtrack.