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Review of music-related licence conditions

Until 28 February 2019, you can request the removal or variation of outdated or irrelevant conditions on your liquor licence that relate to live music and entertainment.

This measure aims to support the live music and entertainment industries, and enable venues to update their business models to reflect changing community tastes and engage a wide variety of musicians and live performers.

The NSW Government is committed to streamlining regulation of licensed venues to help create safe, diverse and vibrant entertainment options.

Why this measure is necessary

Some licences have outdated music and live entertainment conditions imposed on their licence including:

  • restricted genres of music they can offer
  • restricted types of instruments played
  • restricted number of performers allowed on stage.

Conditions like these are no longer imposed on liquor licences.

These types of conditions were imposed many years ago and often due to specific issues arising at a venue at the time. Venues may have also nominated particular types of entertainment when applying for a liquor licence, with the details listed as conditions of the licences ever since.

We recognise that these conditions no longer serve a valid purpose and can unnecessarily prevent venues from offering new and different types of live entertainment.

For example, 'a country and western only' music condition would prevent a bar from offering jazz nights or playing 80s music for birthday parties.

Applying tips

Your application for a review can take longer to assess 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 for a review and gather all the necessary materials.

This review is available for specific types of conditions that can be considered to unnecessarily restrict live entertainment and music in venues, including:

Genre restrictions

Any condition restricting the style or type of live music that can be provided on the licensed premises.
E.g. 'no rock', 'no metal' 'no disco', 'jazz or folk or other quiet music styles only'

Format restrictions

Any condition restricting the types of performers or specific instruments or performance equipment, or number of musicians or live acts allowed to perform at the licensed premises.
E.g. 'solo performers or duos only', 'no heavy bands', 'no drums or bass', 'limit of three live acts in a night', 'no disco lighting'

Outright bans

Any condition that fully bans live entertainment (including live music and/or DJ entertainment) on the licensed premises at all times.
E.g. bans that apply across the entire premises such as: 'no live music or entertainment to be performed on the premises', 'background music only' or 'no DJ entertainment on the premises'

Out of scope conditions

Conditions covering other issues relating to entertainment and music are out of scope for the review, include:

  • limits on noise levels – includes LA10 noise criteria or related bans on live/amplified music contingent on an acoustic report demonstrating compliance with such noise criteria
  • cut-off times for live entertainment
  • limits on locations or specific parts of the premises where live entertainment can be held
  • security staff or transport requirements whenever live entertainment is provided
  • adult entertainment or nudity
  • approval from a local council before live entertainment can be provided
  • specific controls around not trading as a nightclub - e.g. 'premises not to be themed or operated as a nightclub'.

You can apply for a change to these broader types of conditions through the normal 'change to licence condition' process at any time. A standard $110 application fee applies.

What happens in cases where such conditions are in development consents issued by local councils?

Venues will need to make separate applications to their local council to have development consent conditions varied or lifted.

Liquor & Gaming NSW has no power to remove conditions in development consents.

However, we encourage councils to also take a flexible approach when assessing any applications from venues to remove or vary these consent conditions.

What safeguards will there be to ensure removing these conditions will not lead to noise disturbance in local neighbourhoods or other undesirable outcomes?

Applications will still be subject to community notification requirements and posted on the Application Noticeboard. Notice periods will range from 14–30 days depending on the type of condition being reviewed.

How long will it take to consider my application?

Liquor & Gaming NSW aims to have applications decided within 120 days of receipt. The three month period of the assessment review (from 1 December to 28 February) refers to the time applications can be lodged. Processing times will vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the application.

Apart from the waiving of the fees and streamlined assessment process, is Liquor & Gaming NSW using more relaxed criteria when considering requests to remove or vary licences?

All requests for review will need to be considered on their individual merits, and in line with the objectives of the Liquor Act 2007.

For instance, decision-makers will need to take into account:

  • how a request aligns with current community expectations and views
  • the need for a flexible and practical regulatory system
  • responsible development of the live music and entertainment industries.

As far as possible, streamlined processes will be adopted for removal or variation of genre and format restrictions. However, if local stakeholders raise any valid objections, processing times may be longer.

Before submitting your application for a review

1. Complete all the notice pages of the application form and lodge a copy, including attachments with the:

  • police station closest to the licensed premises
  • local council or consent authority of the premises
  • local council or consent authority in any local government area within 500 metres of the licensed premises.

2. Notify the occupiers of any building:

  • Situated within 50 metres of the boundary of the licensed premises
  • On land adjoining the boundary of the land containing the premises, regardless of a separating road.

3. Affix a copy of the site notice to your licensed premises:

  • Important: the notice must be affixed and displayed continuously until your application for review has been determined.

Completing your application

Complete the application form and include the following details:

  • Your licence number and licence name
  • Exact wording of your existing licence conditions
  • Exact wording of your proposed amended or new licence conditions, if you're proposing new ones

If applying as an organisation you'll also need:

  • ABN / ACN
  • name of the licensee
  • name of the officeholders
  • contact details if you're lodging by a legal or other representative

Follow these instructions carefully. Failure to comply with all requirements may result in refusal of your application.

There is no cost to applying during the review period.

The usual $110 fee to make an application to change a licence condition has been waived.

Note: Lodge your application before 28 February to be part of this review.

Apply

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

Apply: AM0121 Review liquor licence conditions – live entertainment/music (PDF 378.2 KB)

Lodge your application

Online: individual.licensing@liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au - with subject line: AM0121 Review liquor licence conditions – live entertainment music

Post: Liquor & Gaming NSW | GPO Box 7060 | Sydney NSW 2001

Deliver: Liquor & Gaming NSW | Level 6, 323 Castlereagh Street | Haymarket NSW 2000 | Monday–Friday 9am–5pm

Next steps

The community will have the opportunity to comment on any proposals to remove or vary conditions through the Liquor and Gaming Application Noticeboard. Local police, councils and neighbouring premises within 50 metres will be notified of a request being made.

Noticeboard consultation periods range from 14–30 days depending on the type of condition being reviewed.

Processing times will vary depending on a number factors including complexity, and completeness of applications. We aim to have applications for review decided within 120 days of receipt.

We're here to help.

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

Call: 1300 024 720 | Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm

Email: contact.us@liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au

Visit: Level 6, 323 Castlereagh Street, Haymarket

Access the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 at www.legislation.nsw.gov.au