Guideline 67: Promotional and public events

Liquor Act 1992 – sections 4 and 42A

This guideline provides advice from the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming about the meaning of 'promotional events' and 'public events' under the Liquor Act 1992.

Promotional events

Artisan producers and producers/wholesalers can sell their own liquor at a promotional event provided there is an appropriate condition endorsed on their licence. Interstate licensees can also be granted a permit to sell liquor at a promotional event.

It is acknowledged that promotional events may seek to benefit several industry sectors by offering a broad scope of activities/facilities in the interests of appealing to a broader target market.

In situations where an event has multiple aspects and/or activities, which may or may not fall within the meaning of a promotional event, the Commissioner will determine the event's primary purpose.

To avoid doubt, an event held by a licensee to promote their own business or product is not considered a promotional event.

Under the Liquor Act, promotional event means an event held primarily for the purpose of promoting produce from a particular region or promoting the hospitality industry.

Promoting regional produce

The Liquor Act provides the following examples of promotional events, which can be held primarily for the purpose of promoting produce from a particular region:

  • craft markets
  • farmers markets
  • agricultural shows
  • food and wine events.

Markets don't need to be held every week or be the size of the Eumundi or Carrara Markets (for example) to qualify. They can also be sporadic or 'pop-up' in nature. Provided they offer regional produce, they can generally be considered a promotional event.

Similarly, small regional agricultural shows are just as eligible as large shows such as the Ekka, while food and wine events can also occur over a limited time, including for a single day, such as the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival, or over a longer time like the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week.

If regional produce isn't offered at a market, such as at a traditional 'car boot sale' or a 'trash and treasure' event or similar, the promotional event requirements cannot be met.

Promoting the hospitality industry

Under the Liquor Act, trade fairs and craft beer festivals are provided as examples of events that promote the hospitality industry.

Trade fairs can range:

  • from those that cater to a specific clientele, including events which showcase the latest food and drink equipment relevant to a certain market segment
  • to events dedicated to the development of a particular sector of the hospitality industry
  • to those with a broader appeal such as the Australasian Hospitality and Gaming Expo.

Craft beer/spirit festivals can be dedicated events such as a 'craft beer and cider festival', or otherwise form part of a larger offering such as an 'eat and drink festival' to qualify as a promotional event.

Public events

Under the provisions of the Liquor Act, several categories of licensee are eligible to apply for a Commercial Public Event Permit (CPEP). These include:

  • commercial hotels
  • subsidiary on-premises licensees
  • subsidiary off-premises licensees
  • nightclubs
  • artisan producers.

A CPEP extends the authority under the licence to allow the sale of liquor on premises that are not the licensee's main premises, including at public events.

The Liquor Act states a public event 'means an event or occasion…that is not a private event' and provides festivals, public balls, race meetings and rock concerts as examples.

In determining whether an event is a public event, the following will be considered:

  • the event must be held away from the licensee's main premises
  • the event or occasion must be publicly advertised and open for public to attend
  • whether there is an admission fee to attend the event or occasion
  • whether attendees are required to pay for entertainment or services (including food and drinks) provided at the event or occasion.

To avoid doubt, although a licensee may wish to host an event on their licensed premises, which otherwise meets the above considerations, it will not be considered a public event.

Additional examples of public events beyond those prescribed in the Liquor Act can include:

  • arts and cultural festivals/events (e.g. fashion events, art shows and film festivals)
  • car shows, including monster truck derbies
  • sporting events (e.g. football and fishing competitions, rodeos and fun/colour runs)
  • food and wine events*.

Private gatherings of friends and families (e.g. birthday parties and weddings) and corporate events (e.g. boardroom lunches and company cocktail parties) are not considered public events, regardless whether they're ticketed or require guests to pay for entertainment or services provided at the event or occasion.

*The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR) acknowledges food and wine festivals generally demonstrate the key characteristics of both promotional and public events. However, for the sake of clarity, artisan licensees with an endorsed condition can provide tastings and sell limited amounts of liquor from a stall at a third-party food/wine event without further approval.

If you have questions or require further information about this guideline or the eligibility of a promotional/public event, contact the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Issued 13 October 2022

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