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Glasgow City Council

Public Entertainment Licence

A Public Entertainment Licence is required where Premises are being used to provide Entertainment whether or not there is a charge (money or otherwise) for the Entertainment.

What activities constitute Entertainment?

The Licensing Authority has resolved that from 1 April 2014 the following activities constitute Entertainment within the Glasgow City Council boundary:

Participatory Entertainment

Health, Fitness & Beauty Facilities

Premises offering (i) gymnasium; (ii) sauna; (iii) sunbed; or (iv) massage facilities unless those facilities are being provided for the purpose of medical treatment and such treatment is being provided under the supervision or direction of a registered medical practitioner and provided within a healthcare establishment.


Premises providing fairground, theme park or amusement park facilities

Other Premises

  • Premises providing facilities for the purposes of Dancing
  •  Ice Rinks
  • Snooker, Billiard or Pool Halls
  • Indoor / Outdoor Go-Karting Tracks

Spectator Entertainment


Performance of (i) Dance; (ii) Live Music (amplified or unamplified); (iii) Recorded Music; or (iv) a Play taking place to an audience and for the primary purpose of entertaining that audience.


The public exhibition of an object such as a painting, sculpture, drawing, installation or historic artifact.

Public Shows

Public shows and similar events such as Festivals, Fairs, Sporting Events, Circuses and Firework Displays held primarily for the purpose of providing entertainment.

Exemption for Spectator Based Entertainment

A Public Entertainment Licence shall not be required for spectator based entertainment events that satisfy all of the following conditions:

  1. The event is provided to an audience of less than 500 persons at any one time and the organiser of the event takes appropriate steps to monitor and control capacity during the event; and
  2. In planning and delivering the event the organiser takes cognisance of HSG195 - the Health and Safety Executive Event Safety Guide (also known as the Purple Guide) or any further additional or replacement guidance specified by the Licensing Authority; and
  3. The organiser carries out a risk assessment of the proposed event and determines that no aspect of the event presents a high risk to the safety of spectators.

Are there any exemptions?

  • A public entertainment Licence is not required for any form of entertainment taking place within a School Hall or Church Hall
  • A Public Entertainment Licence is not required for any form of "Spectator Entertainment" provided by an employer to their employees in the workplace within the meaning of regulation 2(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

Section 41 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 also provides statutory exemptions to the requirement to hold a licence, the main exemptions are:

  • Premises that hold a Premises Licence issued under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005
  • Athletic and Sports Grounds being used as such
  • Premises that hold an Indoor Sports Entertainment Licence
  • Educational Establishments being used as such
  • Premises belonging to or occupied by any religious body while being used wholly or mainly for purposes connected with that body
  • Premises that hold a Theatre or Cinema Licence

Guidance on Applying

Read our pdf icon Guidance on Applying [214kb] for information on the application process including details of:

  • How to lodge an application
  • Supporting documents required
  • How the application will be processed
  • The time it will take to get a decision
  • What to do if you are unhappy with the decision

How much will it cost?

Please refer to our pdf icon Fees and Charges [250kb] document for details of the current fees and accepted payment methods.

The application will not be accepted without the correct fee.

How to make payment?

The amount you pay is dependent on the duration, the number of spectators admitted to the premises and the nature of the Entertainment. The fee is payable when the application is lodged and is non-refundable.

Completed applications should be emailed to Licensing Section and payment should be transferred by BACS (electornic banking) to the following bank account:

Account Name: Glasgow City Council Licensing
Account No. 00116224
Sort Code: 83-44-00
Reference: Licence number (if renewal) or premises /event address

Please note your application will not be processed by the Licensing Section until the fee payment has been made.  The fees are non-refundable.

Can someone object to an application?

Any person can make an objection or representation against a grant or renewal application during the 28 day consultation period. 

Read our guidance on making an objection or representation for more information.

Timescale for Temporary Applications

Applicants submitting temporary applications for major events with a capacity of over 5000 spectators should lodge their application with the Licensing Authority no later than 6 months prior to the event.  All other temporary applications should be lodged no later than 3 months prior to their intended commencement date.

In exceptional circumstances applications may be accepted after these deadlines but applicants should be aware that the Authority may not be able to determine the application in time.




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