Guide Organise an event on council land

Show all parts of this guide

5. Obtaining licenses

In addition to the event application, event organisers need to make sure that they have applied for any licenses that are necessary for them to hold their event.

Licenses are required for a range of activities, including the sale of alcohol, the performance of live or recorded music, and charitable street collections. Our event application forms prompt you to think about licenses, however if you are unsure, the Council’s Licensing office will be able to advise you what type of licence, if any, are required for your specific event.

If your event requires any of the following activities to take place, then you must apply for a license as part of a legal requirement for your event.

Information about Street Trading

 Street trading relates to selling of or offering anything for sale in the street and includes all roads, paths, beaches and any other area that the public can access without paying. Since 2017 street trading has been possible in East Devon as long as consent has been given by this council, although some locations in Sidmouth remain prohibited where street trading is not allowed at any time.  

If you want to sell anything in a public place you will need to make an application and to provide other details including the location with a map, a photograph of the stall or unit, details of public liability insurance and a food hygiene rating if selling food.

You can read our street trading policy to make sure that you can meet the requirements. 

Temporary Event Notices (TEN’s)

TENS can be used to allow licensable activities to be carried out on a one-off or occasional basis from 1 to 7 continuous days. These include:

  • The sale / supply of alcohol
  • The performance of live / recorded music
  • The performance of a play / film
  • Dance performances

They are appropriate for small-scale events such as community, school, charity and fundraisers where the sale of alcohol, entertainment or the sale of hot food and drink between 11pm - 5am. TENs can only be used for events with no more than 499 people in attendance.

Once submitted, your TEN will need to be passed by licensing to the police and the environmental health service and event organisers must submit TEN’s at least 10 working days before the start date. Therefore it is advised that applications are submitted as early as possible.

Premises License

A ‘time limited’ Premises License can be granted in respect of a specific location for a one-off or annual event having more than 500 people in attendance.

A Premises Licence requires a 28 day consultation period. Should objections be received the process can take up to three months from the date of applying to completing the process. Again it is advised that applications are submitted as early as possible.

Charitable Street Collections

If you want to carry out a charitable street collection  you will need a permit. You can do this online at You’ll need to apply at least 28 days before you want to make the collection and there are no fees.

It is the event organiser’s responsibility to ensure any licenses are applied for in plenty of time as only one permit can be issued for each town in East Devon on a weekly basis. More information is obtainable from the Licensing office on 01395 517411


If you are planning on having either recorded or live music at your event you will need to apply for a PPL (recorded music) or PRS (live music) license via the PRS website.

Whether the performance is played live or by such means as CD, radio, DVD, TV, karaoke etc, whether a charge is made for admission or not, or whether the performers are paid or not, a PRS music licence is still necessary. If you play CDs, tapes or records you may also need a PPL licence as well as one from PRS.

It is the event organiser’s responsibility for purchasing the required PPL and or PRS licence(s) before the event takes place. No event that includes performances of live or recorded music can be held in our parks or open spaces without a suitable PPL and/or a PRS licence.

Please visit the PRS website for further information or email them at