Licenses and permissions for organizing a musical event in your City

Licenses and permissions for organizing a musical concert in your City

Do you know what are the licences and permissions that are applicable for organizing a musical event in India?

Organizing a musical event is as arduous as rowing a boat through the deep waters in an ocean. In other words, it’s not a simple process or an easy task.

It requires numerous licenses and permissions from various authorities to organize an event in India. So, before organizing a musical event, ensure that you have procured all the required licences and permissions to avoid any legal conflict.

Many people are not clearly aware of these rules and regulations and how to cross these barriers. So here we have elucidated the context of such licenses. Take a look.

1. PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) Licence

PPL is a licence for playing recorded music in public, the licence for public performance of music recordings. It allows you to use other artistes’ musical creation at your event with freedom. Suppose, you are planning to organize an EDM in India, and you are playing recorded music or musical videos at the event “in public”, then the event will require to have a PPL licence.


Generally, it seeks to collect and distribute money on behalf of the music recording companies and performers.

2. IPRS (Indian Performing Right Society Limited) Licence

IPRS is a licence for playing/performing non-recorded music in public, a licence “for the artistes, of the artistes.” Supposing there is a popular artiste performing live in India, then the event will require a IPRS licence. Also, the artiste needs to be a registered member of IPRS.

Unlike PPL, IPRS issues licenses to the music users. It collects royalties for the artistes, from the artistes on behalf of its registered artiste members (such as lyricists, composers, publishers and performers of music) and distributes the royalty to the music owners/members.

3. Excise Licence

Excise licence is a tax levied for the sale or supply of alcohol. Organizer needs to procure excise permission in order to serve alcohol in a live or recorded music event in India. For hosting a musical event with liquor service inside and outside the premises, one needs to have an excise licence. If the event will take place at an alcohol on-licensed premises then the organizer need not procure a licence. On the other hand, if the hotel or venue doesn’t have liquor serving licence, the organizer needs to obtain one for his event.


Ensure that your event attendees are of legal drinking age (LDA). Identity cards will be compulsory at the event to verify and confirm their age. Also, provide them LDA (Legal Drinking Age) bands with the physical passes at the event venue.

4. Loudspeaker Licence

Any public event held in any public or private venue requires a loudspeaker licence. Since it is a musical event, it requires licence for loudspeaker use and this permission needs to be obtained from the local police authorities under whose purview the venue falls. The authorities may limit the size and number of speakers based on nature of the event.

5. Premises Licence

A premises licence allows an event to carry all the licensable activities at the venue such as providing late night entertainment between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m, large-scale events allowing an audience of over 500 people, selling alcohol as well as serving food and beverages between 11 p.m. and 5 p.m., etc.

Contact the nearby municipal authority of the venue, where the event has been scheduled to take place for applying the premises licence. Make sure you apply the premises licence before a 28-day consultation period.

6. Performance Licence

Performance licence allows a child (anybody below 18 years of age) to perform and take part in the musical event. So, if you are planning to include a performance by a child, who will be paid for, you need to apply for a performance licence from the local authority.

Make sure that there is no one who can stop the event except the police department, in case of exigencies like bomb threats or any other unforeseen law and order problems erupting even in the surrounding area of the venue. In case, an event is taking place without these licences, the organizer will be penalised.

7. Commercial tax (entertainment tax)

You need to take Commercial Taxes Licence for organising your event. The Entertainment Tax has to be calculated based on the estimated number of tickets to be sold. The percentage of entertainment tax varies from place to place and state to state. So, the payment of the ET has to be done well in advance and the tickets need to be stamped by the Commercial Taxes department without which a ticketed event cannot be kickstarted. However, please be advised that in case the number of tickets sold are less, you can claim refund of the amount paid in advance towards ET. To know the entertainment tax rates on events across various cities in India, click Taxation.

Musical event

Also, please make sure that the venue you have hired for the conduct of the event has valid permissions and licences from the authorities concerned.

Similarly, there are numerous permissions required to organize a live musical event in India. Take a look at the following to know more about the permissions that need to be obtained before a live musical event is staged.

The permissions are as follows:

  • Traffic clearance No-Objection Certificate (NOC)
  • Fire brigade NOC
  • NOC from Police
  • Emergency Services
  • For Foreign Artist – NOC from Home Ministry and Indian Business Visa from Domicile
  • Music label NOC – Yash Raj Music, Saregama India Ltd., Tips, Virgin Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, Venus, Milestone, Crescendo, Times Music, Magnasound, etc. You as an organizer need to take NOC from such music labels if the artiste performing at your event is gonna reproduce them. These are also location- specific. So, please make sure if you need to take permission from the label owners at all for the location you are organising the musical event. In some cases, it may not be applicable.
*Sanitary – portable toilets and washrooms are mandatory.

We encourage readers to add any other licenses and permission required in the comment box below.

Preeti Sahu

4 Comments to Licenses and permissions for organizing a musical event in your City

    • Dear Sir,
      I organize live music events with different artists in India. Please let me know which place and of which artists live performance you want. I will try to do it.
      Please mail me the details in the above mail.
      Warm regards
      Geeta Danda

  1. If entertainment tax is nil or state hv no ET to pay . So how many license n permissions to take place ?

    If i can also work as a agent to provide legal authorities n permissions to organizers or third party , so how much percentage i have to charge from third party ? And How much charges / fees taken by all authorities n permission bodies to give all permissions .?

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