Public entertainment licences

A licence is needed if you intend to have entertainment such as a dance, concert, variety show or other entertainment in any place, where members of the public are to be admitted.  A licence is needed for any place, even if held outside.

Examples of the type of activity requiring such a licence include:

  • Dancing establishments
  • Billiards, snooker or pool halls
  • Any exhibition to which the Hypnotism Act 1952 applies
  • Exhibitions of objects such as paintings, sculptures, drawings or historical artefacts
  • Exhibitions of persons, including but not limited to boxing, wrestling, cage fighting or martial arts
  • Saunas, massage parlours, tanning salons, nail bars, health clubs or gymnasia
  • Circuses Fun fairs, including merry-go-rounds, roundabouts, swings, switchback railways, skittle alleys, coconut shies, hooplas, mechanical riding, driving or boating apparatus or anything similar to any of the foregoing
  • Any activities involving shooting, including but not limited to archery, clay pigeon shooting, or paintball Laser or war gaming
  • Motor cycle scrambling
  • Go-carting
  • Indoor or open air festivals or variety concerts, shows or performances
  • Amusement arcades with automatic or other machines, including but not limited to video gaming machines, intended for entertainment or amusement which are not licensed in terms of the Gambling Act 2005
  • Bouncy castles or similar structures, or trampoline venues Internal or external children’s play areas including soft play areas Indoor bowling alleys including ten pin bowling alleys Bungee jumping or catapulting
  • Outdoor adventure or activity parks or anything similar to the foregoing Water sports activities including raft races Fireworks or bonfire displays Agricultural, equestrian or livestock shows Indoor skate parks
  • Major Sporting events such as Golf Opens

Highland Games

Event Organisers are also required to complete the online form available at

We will send a copy of your application to the Police and East Lothian Council officers for comments.

Update to events requiring a Public Entertainment Licence

As from the12th July 2018, the Council has agreed to licence more types of events. The new list is available below.  If you need any further information please contact the Licensing Office.