Campaign for culture pushes for review of event licensing

Excessive costs
cited over bid to reform the
issuance of Special Occasion Licenses


Recently, the Campaign for Culture focussed on Special Occasion Licenses (SOLs) granted to events and festivals. The permit process for individuals and organizations who need SOLs to hold events where alcohol is being served is unnecessarily costly.

Events, such as festivals or concerts, are not given the same freedoms as other licensed establishments like bars or restaurants. The issues surrounding Special Occasion Licenses and festivals include the exemption process for SOLs, which is costly and unnecessary.

Additionally, outdoor events such as festivals are not given the same freedoms as other licensed establishments, especially when we think about the types of alcohol that can be served as well as where they can be consumed. All traditionally licensed establishments can offer various prices and choices on products being sold, but licensed events are not offered the same flexibility. Event organizers and attendees are being heavily and unnecessarily restricted.

The following changes need to be made to the SOL process to fix it:

• The exemption process needs to be eliminated – all current exemptions should be offered to all special events at all times

• Outdoor events should be given the same flexibility as indoor events and the freedoms enjoyed by licensed establishments.

• All SOLs should be allowed greater flexibility in price setting and the types of alcohol that can be served.