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Limited licence – special event

A special event limited licence can be granted if the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority is satisfied that an event is infrequent or temporary, is genuine and in the public interest, having regard to the objects of the Liquor Act 2007.

Previously events had to have a direct and significant social and economic benefit to the community at a regional, state or national level. These requirements have recently been changed and we are working on updating the application form. If you want a special event limited licence and do not meet the previous requirements, email and let us know. We will work with you to submit your application.

It allows you to sell or supply alcohol at a venue that doesn't already hold a liquor licence, as long as selling and supplying alcohol is not the sole reason for holding the event.

Large-scale commercial event

If you are holding a special event that is open to the public and has an anticipated patron capacity of 2,000 or more, you must lodge an application for a Large-scale commercial event: special event.

Ensure this application is lodged at least 28 days before the function date to avoid a late fee charge. Consult the Liquor Fee Schedule for application and late fee charges.

Under 18s

There is no restriction on under 18’s being present at a special event held under a limited licence. L&GNSW may consider imposing restrictions for those aged under 18 years, particularly to minimise exposure to bar areas and potential problems at large events.

Applying tips:

Your application can take longer to review if we don’t have all the details we need to assess it. We will come back to you to obtain the missing information to progress your application. You can help us speed up the process by:

  • Providing all the correct information at the time you apply
  • Responding to our request for missing information as soon as possible after we contact you.

The information below will help you to prepare your application and gather all the necessary materials for your licence. However, if you're ready now...

Apply online

To qualify for this licence type, you must advise in your application how the special event in is the public interest.

A range of factors are considered as part of the assessment process, and every application is assessed on its individual merits.

Some or all of the following factors may be relevant:

Characteristics and size of event

  • what are the characteristics of the event?
  • is the event in the public interest?
  • what is the estimated number of people expected to attend the event, both daily if held on more than one day, and in total?

Support for the event

  • is the event supported or promoted by a tourist body, the local consent authority / council, a cultural institution, industry representative body or a government agency like Destination NSW?
  • is media coverage of the event expected (before and during the event)?
  • is there an event website and other significant advertising?
  • will any dignitaries, celebrities or other prominent people attend the event?

Supervising the event

  • how will the proposed licensed area be physically defined?
  • How will access be controlled to prevent liquor being brought into or taken away from the proposed licensed area?
  • how will you ensure responsible service of alcohol practices are observed, and intoxication prevented?
  • will liquor be available throughout the proposed licensed area or only in one specific area? Describe the number and location of bars or selling points.
  • is there an event management plan in place, with particular references to the management of liquor and security?
  • how will patrons be supervised?
  • will security officers be engaged for the duration of the event?
  • how will local police be consulted in relation to the event?
  • if entertainment is to be provided, describe the nature of that entertainment.
  • describe the type and quantity of food available throughout the event.
  • describe the availability of sanitary facilities and first aid services at the event.

Other relevant considerations

  • why the provision of liquor an integral part of the event?
  • has the event run previously? If so, provide details of the event as well as any liquor licence numbers previously issued if known.
  • have you considered alternative licensing arrangements for the event, such as using a licensed caterer or engaging a local hotel licensee under a Function On Other Premises Authorisation?
  • If these options are not appropriate for your event, you must explain why in your application. Note: Some events unlikely to be approved as special events include large private functions, a town's annual show or race meeting, and other fundraising or charitable events run by a person acting on behalf of a not for profit organisation. For these events, a Limited licence - single function would be more appropriate.

All applicants

  • name and details about where and when the event will take place
  • explanation why another liquor licence isn't suited for the event
  • a plan clearly showing the proposed boundaries for the licensed area and key features, including entry/exit points, bar areas, any adjoining streets and the direction North
  • details about what liquor, food, entertainment, sanitation and security will be at the event
  • if applicable, a copy of development consent or approval allowing the licence at your venue from your local council
  • proposed patron attendance
  • proposed liquor trading hours
  • details of the venue and business owner
  • contact details for you or a person authorised to submit your application
  • if applicable, a completed applicant declaration (TDEC5) PDF, 173.74 KB
  • payment
  • a plan of management PDF, 162.77 KB.

If applying as an individual you'll also need:

If you're applying as an organisation you'll also need:

Download: Forms for a limited licence

​Large scale events are more likely to experience higher risks of alcohol-related violence or anti-social behaviour than smaller events.

2,000 + event attendees: applicants are required to have completed licensee RSA training.

Trading after midnight: applicant is required to have completed advanced licensee RSA training.

L&GNSW may exempt an applicant from having to undertake the training if the completion of the course, or courses, is deemed unnecessary to reduce the risks of alcohol-related violence or anti-social behaviour at the event.

RSA training for event staff 

  • The licensee and everyone serving liquor will need to have completed an approved RSA course. This applies to those serving liquor in a voluntary capacity as well as any security officers with crowd control duties

  • All staff must carry a valid NSW RSA photo competency card, digital licence, or interim certificate while working.

Liquor can only be sold at a special event held under a limited licence when:

  • the licensee is present, or
  • a person nominated by the licensee is present to supervise the event during the temporary absence of the licensee

Sale of liquor

  • All liquor must be sold and supplied in opened containers, such as opened cans or bottles
  • Liquor may only be consumed at the event – it cannot be taken away.

Trading hours for a limited licence are determined by L&GNSW. They usually reflect the duration and type of function. Trading is not permitted between 3.00am and 6.00am.

Daily 6-hour closure period

A 6-hour closure period applies to all liquor licences, including those with extended trading hours. It usually starts at 4.00am and ends at 10.00am each day.


The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and/or it’s delegates may impose conditions on a liquor licence.

It is recommended you use the Conditions form PDF, 770.13 KB to discuss the conditions with NSW Police prior to lodging your application.

Lodging this form with your liquor licence application will reduce the processing time.

Your application costs include:

  • an application fee
  • a non-refundable processing fee.

Use our Liquor Fee Schedule to calculate your fee.

You must be 18 years or older and authorised to lodge this licence application.

Create a OneGov or ServiceNSW account to apply online for a new licence or manage your existing licence online.

Next steps

Once your application is lodged, we will advertise it on the Liquor and Gaming Application Noticeboard for 14 days. The community can comment on your application, as well as the NSW Police and local council.

We're here to help. 

Use our online feedback form to send us your questions, suggestions or feedback. You can also:

Call: 13 77 88 | Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm


Access the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 at