Temporary Event Notices, or TENs, are needed when you want to organise a ‘licensable activity’. Those activities are selling alcohol, supplying alcohol in a members’ club, providing regulated entertainment, and providing late night refreshments. Read my blog about The Licensing Act for more information about these activities.
When do you need a TEN?
When I organised my event, Zhivago Theater, we discussed the idea of selling alcohol at the theatre prior to the show. The theatre had a Premises Licence but this did not cover the sale of alcohol. I am a Personal Licence Holder but in order for me to sell alcohol in the theatre I would have had to apply for a TEN. My licensable activity would be ‘selling alcohol’.
Under a TEN the maximum number of people who can attend your event (including staff, volunteers, security, artists) is 499. With a TEN your event can last a maximum of 168 hours. Having said that, there are exceptions to that rule which you need to check with your local authorities.
In May 2017 pubs and restaurants in Wales were told to apply for TENs if they wanted to broadcast the Rugby League World Cup. The World Cup takes place in Australia and as a result games take place around 8am GMT. Pubs who want to extent their opening times, by opening earlier, will have to apply for a TEN.
Your local authority will have an application form on their website. In this 5-page document you need to provide information about yourself, the event, the premises where your event takes place, the licensable activities you intend to carry out, the duration of your TEN request, attendance, and entertainment. You also need to provide information about your Personal Licence Holder and any previous TEN requests.
It takes 10 working days to process your request and you need to receive your TEN at least 5 days prior to your event. So plan this in advance! You can receive a maximum of 15 temporary event notices per premises per year. For example, if you work at a Manor House with two function rooms you can apply for 30 TENs (2 times 15). You apply for TENs as an individual and not as a company.
According to Poppleston Allen (2017) the Police and the Environmental Health agency have 3 working days to object after they receive the notice. The application procedure can be quite tricky and there are plenty of examples where a TEN was not granted. Poppleston Allen have published a fantastic booklet called The Licensed Trade Guide. Do check that out!
Temporary Event Notice applications
Hurlingham Yacht Club applied for a TEN as they wanted to organise a party in January 2017. They needed a TEN to serve alcohol outside their normal licensing hours. The local Environmental Health agency however complained about noise disturbance at previous events. Despite this the sub-committee eventually granted the TEN.
Not sure if you have ever watched the TV show The Real Housewives of Cheshire but one of the housewives wanted to organise a charity event in her garden. Again, noise disturbance was put forward as a reason to not grant her a temporary event notice. She had to cancel her party as a TEN was refused.
Varkala Music Festival in Wokingham was denied a temporary event notice after neighbouring residents complained about… noise. The TEN application stated that music was to be played until 2am. Residents complained and the TEN was refused. The festival applied again but after they had made some changes. This time amplified music would stop at 11pm. After this change the TEN was granted.
The application process for a temporary event notice takes time. Allow yourself enough time to fill out the form correctly. A TEN application cost around £21 but not being granted a TEN might cost you even more.