Special licences

To sell alcohol at events and occasions, you need to apply for a special licence.

Check out the chart below to find out if a special licence for alcohol is required for your event. 

chart to evaluate if special licence is needed to provide alcohol at an event

 Click to open a PDF version of the chart [PDF, 324 KB]

Examples of situations when you’ll need a special licence to sell or supply alcohol include:

  • festivals
  • concerts
  • sporting events
  • bus trips
  • ticketed events
  • functions in public venue where public access is not restricted.

You do not need a special licence when:

  • you are supplying liquor to your guests in your own private residence
  • your guests are bringing liquor to your own private residence
  • you are holding a genuine private social gathering in a public facility such as a hall and you are supplying liquor to your guests, as long as the public is not able to access the event.

Special licences are required to be considered by the medical officer of health, the police and licensing inspectors.

The application must be filed at least 20 working days before the event, however people should file the application even earlier to help ensure it is processed in time.

Applications can be considered in less than 20 working days if the event is unexpected (for example, a funeral). The DLC will decide if the event could have been foreseen.

Download an application for a special licence here [PDF, 415 KB]

Special licences for summer events

If you’re holding an event this holiday season that requires a special alcohol licence, make sure you apply as soon as possible or it may not be processed in time. If you’re organising an event this Christmas and New Year and you’re selling or supplying alcohol, you may need a special licence unless your caterer holds an alcohol licence for events.

Applications for a special licence must be lodged at least 20 working days before the event is held (although exceptions may be made for unforeseen events). Please remember that working days do not include weekend, statutory holidays or any day from 19 December 2022 – 13 January 2023.

 Special licence application deadlines are as follows:

  • November 2022 events by Friday 14 October 2022
  • December 2022 events by Friday 28 October 2022
  • January and February 2023 events by 18 November 2022

Special licence fees

In most cases, the fee depends on the size and number of events covered by the special licence.

For more information please see our forms & fees page

Useful information

Serving alcohol safely at workplace events (external link)

A guide to assist licensees of entertainment venues to apply for a special licence (external link)