Events and occasions

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.


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 a public venue where
  • public access is not restricted

You do not need a special licence when:

  • you are supplying alcohol to your guests in your own private residence
  • your guests are bringing alcohol 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 alcohol 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 District Licencing Committee will decide if the event could have been foreseen.

Fees and further information

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

8 December 2022

Further information about alcohol safety