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Live music venues are generally the type of business that apply for an on-premises (live music venue) liquor licence.

It allows you to sell alcohol to drink on the licensed premises without the sale of meals. It does not allow you to sell takeaway alcohol.

Applying for your licence

To apply please download the kit and fill out the application form. The form provides instructions on how to complete your application.

Please lodge your liquor licence applications at least 911 weeks in advance. The time taken to process your application will vary depending on a range of factors including the complexity of the application and any objections which may be raised.

Information needed in your application

As you prepare your application you need to gather the following information:

  • local council planning permission
  • confirmation of trading hours
  • compliance with required training
  • red line plan
  • patron capacity declaration
  • declaration of right to occupy premises.
  • copy of newspaper advertisement.

Local council planning permission

Before applying for your liquor licence you should contact your relevant local councilExternal Link about their planning requirements for your proposed business.

Your council will be able to guide you in what they need and the suitability of your business for the local area and location.

In your liquor licence application to us, you need to provide one of the following from your council:

  • a planning permit
  • copy of an application for a planning permit
  • evidence that a planning permit is not required to supply liquor. This can be a letter from the local council (or responsible planning authority) or a copy of the relevant planning scheme.

Trading hours

Standard trading hours for an on-premises liquor licence are:

  • 7 am to 1 am the following morning Monday to Saturday (excluding ANZAC Day and Good Friday)
  • 10 am to 1 am the following morning on Sunday
  • 12 noon to 1 am on ANZAC Day and Good Friday.

More information on public holiday trading restrictions is available.

Extended trading hours

It is possible to trade after 1 am. If you wish to trade after 1 am you will need to apply for a late night on premise licence. This page has the application form and information kit needed to apply for this licence.

The following council areas have additional requirements to trade after 1amExternal Link :

  • Melbourne
  • Port Phillip
  • Stonnington
  • Yarra.

Training

As a licensee you need to complete and hold various training certificates. Please see the Responsible Service of Alcohol training page for more information.

Right to use the premises

For a licence to be issued, you need to show you have the right to occupy and are able to operate out of your intended business location.

This is called a right to occupy the premises and it can be demonstrated by:

  • your lease agreement
  • proof that you own the property
  • another legal arrangement.

Include your declaration of the right to occupy your premises as a part of your application.

Red line plan

Your red line plan defines the area where alcohol can be supplied. This plan needs to be included in your application. The Red line plan page has information on how to create and change your plan.

Maximum patron capacity

Include in your application one of the following documents to show your venue’s maximum patron capacity:

  • the most recently issued planning permit which contains a maximum patron capacity
  • a copy of an occupancy permit showing a prescribed patron capacity
  • a report from a registered building surveyor.

For more information download the fact sheet below.

Live music licence conditions

The below sets out suggested licence conditions for licensed premises that provide live music entertainment to address the requirements of the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998External Link (the Act).

As a guide, each level sets out suggested licence conditions differentiated by the trading hours and patron capacity endorsed on the licence.

Level 1

Venue type

  • All venues authorised to trade until 11 pm or Venues authorised to trade between 11 pm and 1 am (and not after) with a maximum patron capacity of 400 or less.
  • Restaurant and cafe licence.
  • Wine and beer producer's licence.

Standard conditions

  • Standard conditions include conditions relating to preserving the amenity of the local area, limits on the number of patrons permitted on the premises, and the hours in which liquor can be supplied.

Additional conditions

  • No

Management plan

  • No

Level 2

Venue type

  • Venues authorised to trade until 1 am with a maximum patron capacity of 401 or more.
  • Venues authorised to trade past 1 am with a maximum patron capacity of 200 or less.

Standard conditions

  • Standard conditions include conditions relating to preserving the amenity of the local area, limits on the number of patrons permitted on the premises, and the hours in which liquor can be supplied.

Additional conditions

  • CCTV

Management plan

  • Optional

Level 3

Venue type

  • Venues authorised to trade after 1 am with a maximum patron capacity of between 201 and 600 patrons.

Standard conditions

  • Standard conditions include conditions relating to preserving the amenity of the local area, limits on the number of patrons permitted on the premises, and the hours in which liquor can be supplied.

Additional conditions

  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
  • Crowd controller licence conditions would be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may require crowd controllers during specified times or when particular numbers of patrons are in attendance.

Management plan

  • Optional

Level 4

Venue type

  • Venues authorised to trade after 1 am with a maximum patron capacity of 601 or more.

Standard conditions

  • Standard conditions include conditions relating to preserving the amenity of the local area, limits on the number of patrons permitted on the premises, and the hours in which liquor can be supplied.
  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
  • Crowd controller licence conditions would be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may require crowd controllers during specified times or when particular numbers of patrons are in attendance.

Additional conditions

  • No

Management plan

  • Yes

Level 5

Venue type

  • Venues authorised to trade after 1 am with a maximum patron capacity 601 or more.
  • Venues with a poor compliance history.
  • Venues that provide sexually explicit entertainment.

Standard conditions

  • Standard conditions include conditions relating to preserving the amenity of the local area, limits on the number of patrons permitted on the premises, and the hours in which liquor can be supplied.
  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
  • Crowd controller licence conditions would be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may require crowd controllers during specified times or when particular numbers of patrons are in attendance.
  • Any additional conditions determined by Liquor Control Victoria.

Additional conditions

  • No

Management plan

  • Yes

Security in live-music entertainment venues

Special conditions may be placed on liquor licences where live music entertainment is provided. Visit Security in licensed venues to read about the minimum requirements for installing security cameras and employing crowd controllers.

Application fees

There are costs associated with applying for your liquor licence. Please see the Licence application fees and charges page for information.

When you have your licence

If your application is successful you are then obligated to abide by the terms of your liquor licence.

Information on how to be compliant is on the Licensees obligations page.

You can also change, transfer or give up your licence.

Reviewed 21 September 2023

Liquor

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