Entertainment management summary

Management of entertainment at your event is not as simple as playing recorded music, hiring an amusement ride, giving out balloons to releasing balloons.

Permits and plans required to deliver an entertainment program include:

  • compliance with the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA)
  • compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) noise and littering guidelines
  • using fireworks and pyrotechnics and compliance with WorkSafe regulations
  • using inflatable devices, such as air castles safely
  • using mechanical rides and compliance with WorkSafe regulations
  • using animal farms and compliance with health guidelines.

Programming live music or playing recorded music at an event

If your event program has recorded music or live artists performing music, then you must apply for a licence from the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA). This is because music is protected by copyright law (Australian Copyright Act 1968) and events require a licence from the APRA for artists to perform live or for recorded music to be played.

This applies to event programs that involve:

  • public performances, broadcast or communication of music
  • the reproduction or recording of music for retail, personal or business purposes
  • the synchronisation of music with film or video in an audiovisual recording.

The type of event will determine which type of APRA License is required:

  • concert/festival/dance party/function – box office event
  • concert/festival/dance party/function – free event
  • corporate or industry function
  • eisteddfod
  • film festival

Contact the Australian Performing Rights Association Limited (Victorian/Tasmania Branch) for more information.

Live Performance Australia (LPA)

Live Performance Australia is the peak body for Australia’s live entertainment and performing arts industry.

Established in 1917 and registered as an employers’ organisation under the Fair Work Act 2009, LPAs activities centre around membership services and events. Members work in live performance sectors; contemporary and classical music, musicals, theatre, comedy, dance, opera, circus and physical theatre, representing producers, venues, promoters, performing arts companies, festivals and industry suppliers such as ticketing companies and technical specialists. LPA also services the cinema and exhibition industries.

Contact Live Performance Australia (LPA) for more information.

Managing noise levels

The EPA and the City of Greater Geelong have rules and guidelines regarding amplified sound or noise at outdoor events.

Noise levels can affect residents, businesses and wildlife. Noise can be generated from speakers and amplifiers during the event as well as from machinery used during set up and pack up.

Note: It only takes one or two complaints to the EPA from a member of the public for an event organiser to risk being fined for breaching noise guidelines.

If amplified sound or machinery is used as part of the event you will need to include a Noise Management Plan in your Event Plan.

For more information, refer to the 'Additional Event Plans' section in the Event Planning Guide.

Balloons – protecting our environment

The use of balloons including mass balloon releases are strongly discouraged by the Environmental Protection Agency, Marine Victoria, Parks Victoria and the City of Greater Geelong Environment Department and asset managers.

Balloons, whether they are biodegradable or not, fall back to the earth as litter and if they land in the rivers or seas or are washed into the waterways, they become a danger to marine life.

A great alternative for event organisers is to release bubbles instead.

Using fireworks and pyrotechnics safely and legally

If you are planning on having fireworks or pyrotechnics as part of your event, you first need to ask permission from the landowner.

If in-principle permission is received from the landowner, you must engage a licensed pyrotechnical company.

The licensed pyrotechnician will need to apply for the relevant permits from WorkSafe.

It is a requirement of the Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2000 number 814 that pyrotechnicians are to notify authorities at least seven days before the fireworks display.

The WorkSafe permit application needs to be submitted and approved, and then distributed to Council and the Country Fire Authority (CFA).

You will also need to notify Parks Victoria (who require a minimum of eight weeks notice) if pyrotechnics are to be launched from water based barges.

If the event is held during the Fire Danger Period you must seek permission from the CFA schedule 14 permit. If the event is likely to fall on a Total Fire Ban Day then you will also need to apply for a schedule 40 permit. Both these permits should be applied for in advance.

For more information on CFA permits, refer to 'Fireworks, Pyrotechnics and WorkSafe' in the Events Planning Guide.

If an Occupancy 2 Occupancy Permit (POPE) is being applied for you will need to include all fireworks and pyrotechnics information in the application form.

Fireworks and Pyrotechnics require a Communications and Safety Plan.

Fireworks and Pyrotechnics should form part of the events Risk Assessment.

Inflatable devices

If air castles or other inflatable devices are part of the event you need to show the proposed location on the site plan and manage the risks.

Generally speaking, for a private function on Council land that has an air castle as part of the activities, it is requested by Council that the function organiser does not charge children at the event to use the air castle.

Children who are not part of the event but who may be using the park/reserve should also have free access to the inflatable device.

Inflatable devices should form part of your Risk Assessment. This includes monitoring the weather prior to during the conduct of the inflatable device operating.

Mechanical rides and amusement structures

Your site plan needs to include the location of all mechanical rides. Mechanical rides or amusement structures are described in the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 as ‘plant’ or ‘prescribed equipment’.

A proprietor of prescribed equipment must ensure that the equipment, when used, is safe and without risks to health. Operators must be suitably licensed and trained, and the equipment must be appropriately inspected and maintained.

The equipment may also require annual certification by a structural engineer.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the mechanical ride proprietor is setting up and controlling the amusement equipment in a safe and compliant manner for the duration of the event, and that the operators are suitably licensed.

Generators should not be accessible to public and fuel should be stored safely. Suitable barriers should be used and you need to provide adequate space around all rides.

Power cords should be tested and tagged, covered to avoid trip hazards, clear of any walkways and protected from inclement weather for the safety of spectators and children using the ride or structure (including inflatable devices).

The mechanical ride proprietor is obliged to abide by legislation including:

  • Occupational Health and Safety (Plant) Regulations 1995
  • Victorian Electrical Legislation
  • Victorian WorkSafe Authority Legislation
  • Australian Standards

For more information about meeting the plant regulations see the advice for managing major events safely publication on the WorkSafe website.

Mechanical rides should be included in your Risk Assessment.

Animal nurseries/farms

If you are having an animal nursery at your event you need to ensure that the nursery has hand-washing facilities to protect the public from contracting transmittable diseases from the animals.

The State Government Department of Health has online information relating to animal farms and reducing the risk of transmitting various infections diseases from animals to humans.

Guidelines and posters can be downloaded from the Department of Health website.

Your site plan should show the location of the animal nursery. It needs to be on a surface that is suitable for animals that doesn’t damage the site.

Talk to the animal farm operator prior to the event about requirements for the animals such as shade.

The management of the animal nursery should form part of your Risk Assessment.

Contact the State Government Department of Health for more information.

Page last updated: Thursday, 5 November 2020