Public entertainment in Jersey is permitted by the Bailiff under common law powers. This means that, generally, if you want to hold a public event, you must apply for a permit to do so.
Most venues that offer regular entertainment apply for an annual permit (P.49) which covers them for the year. An event organiser does not need a permit if the event meets the terms of the venue’s existing permit. When you hire a venue, you should check this.
You can apply for an annual entertainment permit (P.49) from the Bailiff's Chambers. When the Bailiff assesses permit applications, he receives advice and recommendations from statutory bodies such as the Fire and Rescue Service and the Public Health Department as well as the parish authorities.
If you wish to hold a one-off public event, you should read the rest of the information on this page. If you are not sure whether an event needs a permit, you should contact the Bailiff’s Chambers for advice.
Public entertainment may include (but is not limited to):
- music and dancing
- films and theatre
- motor sports, boxing, wrestling and equestrian events
- circuses, funfairs and fetes
- festival events
One-off public entertainment events
If you're organising a one-off event, such as an open-air music event, a fete or a funfair, you can apply for a permit to cover this if the location does not have a permit already. The venue can be indoor or outdoor.
For many events we recommend that you contact your parish hall as early as possible to make them aware of your plans.
Applying for permission to hold an event, and information you need to provide
To apply for permission to hold a public event, you will need to complete an application form (you can download this below) and submit an event plan. The event plan should include the following information:
- the type of event that is proposed
- how it is organised
- a risk assessment - the measures you'll take to make sure any potential and foreseeable risks are being addressed - whether to those taking part in, or watching, the event
- how you'll lessen any effects (such as noise or other nuisance) that your event may have on other people
- a site map and event layout
The amount of information you need to give in your plan will depend on the type of event you're proposing. You can get guidance on the typical components of an event plan from the Bailiff’s Chambers or follow the health and safety guidance link below. If you need any further help, contact the Bailiff's Chambers.
You should submit your application and event plan to the Bailiff as early as possible before your event is planned to take place. You should provide enough notice so that you can present all your information at the panel meeting (see below) that will take place at least 3 months before your proposed event. However, we strongly recommend that you allow more time (6 months) for complicated events.
Download permission to hold an event application form (size 160kb)
Health and safety guidance for organisers of public events (staying safe section)
The entertainment panel and how it will consider your event plan
Depending on the type of event, the information you give in your event plan may be considered by a panel which meets each month. The purpose of the panel is to advise the Bailiff on community safety matters that may arise from any public events and it acts as a 'one-stop shop' for you so that you don't need to visit each department involved separately.
You will be invited to come to the first available panel meeting, and the panel will consider your event plan and risk assessment before the meeting. The meeting is an opportunity for you to explain what you're planning, and to answer any questions that the panel may have. You can bring a colleague with you to help explain your plans if you wish.
The panel is made up of representatives from:
- States of Jersey Police
- Jersey Fire and Rescue Service
- Ambulance Service
- Health and Safety Inspectorate
- Public Health Department
The Connétable of the parish in which the event is planned to take place may also be involved.
You will need to satisfy the panel that certain heath and / or safety standards have been or will be met. For example, the Public Health Department requires that:
- all caterers have a copy of 'Food Issues' (you can download this below), and that they understand and implement this guidance
- a list of caterers is provided ideally 2 weeks before the event so that Public Health can contact them in advance and possibly inspect on the day
- a sufficient number of toilets are provided for the public - the quantity will depend on the number of people attending the event, as well as the time length of the event (you can download the toilet numbers guidance below)
- although one-off events are unlikely to be covered by the Statutory Nuisances (Jersey) Law 1999, it's recommended that you comply with the Code of Practice on Environmental Noise Control at Concerts (see below)
- it's recommended that you, as the event organiser, provide a letter / flyer to local residents advising of who to contact out of hours in case of a noise complaint. You should have a complaint process or flow chart in place for complaints you may get, so that they can be recorded, acted on and dealt with appropriately at the time they were received
- if your event involves any petting of animals you must be vigilant in ensuring children and adults can wash their hands afterwards / prior to eating to prevent any risk from Ecoli 157. This can cause serious illness and kidney failure in children. Further information is provided in the guidance download below
Download toilet numbers guidance for public events (size 68kb)
Download food hygiene and event catering guide (size 426kb)
Download Code of Practice on Environmental Noise Control at Concerts (size 28kb)
Download the farm safety checklist (size 192kb)
Download preventing or controlling ill health from animal contact at visitor attractions (size 125kb)
Farming and countryside education website
Similarly, the Jersey Fire and Rescue Service will carry out 'during performance' inspections to check on fire safety measures and to make sure that adequate escape routes are provided and secure at all times. One of the conditions of the permit is that all reasonable fire and safety precautions are made and maintained according to Fire Service regulations.
If the panel is satisfied that your event can be carried out safely, it will recommend to the Bailiff that a permit be granted.
The application process
When a decision will be made
Once the panel has considered your final plans and made its recommendation to the Bailiff, the Bailiff will make a decision within 7 days of the recommendation.
However, organisers are often asked to provide information that was missing from the original plan, and the panel may have to consider your event plan again at another meeting. Give yourself as much time as possible to avoid delays with your application.
If a permit is granted
If the Bailiff grants a permit, you will be asked to submit a cheque payable to the Treasurer of the States and a permit will be issued to you. (Details of the charge for occasional permits are available from the Bailiff’s Chambers.)
Copies of the permit are sent to the relevant authorities. The Bailiff may attach specific conditions concerning occupancy, noise limits, or anything else which must be observed as a requirement of the permit. The permit is directly relevant to the detail and content of the agreed event plan.
Selling alcohol at your event
The sale of alcohol is regulated by the Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974. Alcohol may only be sold by a person authorised to do so under the law. For events on unlicensed premises you will need to contact an existing licence holder; he or she will then have to apply for a liquor licence transfer for the event. (Further details are available from the Bailiff’s Chambers).
Download liquor licence transfer application form (size 13kb)
Download liquor licence extension application form (size 10kb)
To apply to busk, you must collect a form from the Jersey Arts Centre in Phillips Street and arrange a brief audition. If successful, the Arts Centre will forward your application to the Bailiff’s Chambers and you will be issued with the relevant permit. There is an administrative fee. Further details, including busking guidelines, are available from the Jersey Arts Centre.