Licensing Festivals & Public Events
Licensing Festivals and Public Events
There are a number of things to consider for anyone thinking of staging or organising an event in a public space at which alcohol is to be sold. Licensing Festivals enables the sale of alcohol at that event (e.g. a public park or estate grounds). If the event does not carry a licence of its own then an application must be made to Court to extend an existing licence of a local public bar in the area to cover the event in question.
The application to Court is reliant on the consent of both the Gardai and the Fire Officer for the area. They must be given the required amount of legal notice prior to the application. The consent of the both the Gardai and the Fire Officer in turn will be based on their respective approval of the Event Management Plan. The Court will also review and approve the Event Management Plan before it will order the licence be extended to the event. Some local authorities e.g. Dublin City Council and Cork City Council prepared information guides on their particular requirements.
Any event management plan must deal with issues such as crowd control, traffic management and fire safety issues as well as a number of other critical points e.g medical response/first aid and notice to the public in the area. Anyone unfamiliar with the process of completing an Event Management Plan can engage a promoter or an event management agency who will advise on and complete the event management plan in the form required for approval by all stakeholders and the Court.
What is also important to remember is that the licence for the festival is granted by way of an extension of an existing pub licence to that area. The licence holder will be required to give evidence in Court (a company Director in the case of a company licence holder) of the bar management plan for the public event. The licence holder must be in a position to supervise the operation of the bars during the event and ensure that licensing laws are complied with, particularly for the prevention of under age drinking. The licence must be current and valid and the original is produced in Court.
The Event Promoter and Licence Holder will be required to give evidence in Court on the Event Management Plan and the operation of the bars at the event. Once the Court is satisfied that the plan is in order and the bar will operate by or under the supervision of suitably qualified bar management personnel, and the Gardai and Fire officer have no objection, the order will be granted. The licence extension is granted for the days and hours specified in the application and these hours must be within the permitted licensing hours of the licence itself.
Our members have considerable experience in licensing festivals and public events in Ireland. They are available to consult with and advise on the steps necessary to successfully complete the Court application. Each of member is connected with the local licensing authorities and Courts’ office as well as the leading licensing counsel in Ireland.