Planning for Entertainment

The NSW Government has introduced a simpler and fairer approval system for live entertainment.

The red tape for live entertainment in venues has been cut – pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafés and other venues no longer need a special licence. This measure is designed to enliven NSW’s music scene, and allow musicians to do more of what they do best – perform. At the same time, community safety and neighbourhood amenity will continue to be protected.

Planning & Infrastructure has prepared the following to guide and support the changes:

The new system, in operation from 26 October 2009, will work like this:

  • Place of Public Entertainment (POPE) licences are no longer needed – venues can have live entertainment as part of their main business without the need for separate approval
  • Entertainment is now defined as part of normal activities at pubs, restaurants and clubs during the week and on weekends. Examples include a small restaurant engaging a jazz trio, a Celtic folk band playing in an Irish pub or a rock band in a club.
  • For new venues, live entertainment matters will be considered as part of the development application.
  • There will be a range of measures to protect neighbourhood amenity, which are administered by the police, councils and the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing has prepared information and resources to assist venues with the changes, including:

  •  Sound Advice Reducing the Risk of Noise Disturbance Information Sheet

This information is available at

Following the introduction of the new system, Planning & Infrastructure held a series of workshops throughout the State to consider the new system from the perspective of councils, regulators, venue operators and performers. Stakeholders from all of these groups and any other interested parties were invited to attend. 

Advice on isolation of smoke detection and alarm systems

In May 2013, the agency's Director-General issued a letter to all council general managers seeking their assistance to inform building owners about the dangers of isolating smoke detection and alarm systems. A further letter of clarification was issued in October 2013 following enquiries from stakeholders.


For further information, contact:

Planning & Infrastructure
Information Centre
Phone (02) 9228 6111

For specific queries on liquor licensing and other matters around venue regulation, you can contact:

NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing
Phone (02) 9995 0300


Last Updated 25-Feb-2014