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Entertainment License Rules and Regulations

City of Medford


Entertainment Licenses on Premises Which Hold Licenses to Serve Alcoholic Beverages

The License Commission will allow an establishment, defined as a current license holder to serve alcoholic beverages, to apply for a conditional entertainment license subject to the terms and conditions set forth by the License Commission stated in its adopted rules and regulations on March 16, 2016. Provisions for the issue of an entertainment license hereunder imply no intention to create rights generally for persons to engage or continue in the transaction of the business authorized by the license, but is enacted with a view only to serve the public need and in such a manner as to protect the common good and, to that end, to provide, in the opinion of the License Commission, an adequate number of places at which the public may obtain, in the manner and for the kind of use indicated, the different sorts of entertainment for which provision is made.

No holder of such a conditional license hereunder shall have any property right in any document or paper evidencing the granting of such conditional license issued by the License Commission, and Commission, upon the expiration, or otherwise sooner of such a license shall be entitled upon demand to the immediate possession thereof.

Entertainment Definitions:

Live performances, disc jockeys, shows, sporting events, and exhibitions held indoors or outdoors that invite members of the public with or without charge. Live performances include live productions of music or sound by individuals or recordings, televised broadcast or rebroadcasts transmissions, bands, musicians, dancing, karaoke, and theatric performances.

Entertainment by Performers
– Live Music (Band) Singer(s)
– DJ
– Dancing by Entertainers
– Theatrical Exhibition
– Play
– Musician(s)
– Other

Entertainment by Patrons
– Dancing
– Karaoke
– Games/skill or chance
– Other

Entertainment by Devices
– Television
– Radio
– Light Show
– Juke Box
– Recorded Music
– Computer/Internet
– Other

Entertainment Rules and Regulations:
Enabling state provision authorizing entertainment within municipalities has not been adopted by the License Commission to date, within the City of Medford.

Accordingly, the following adopted Entertainment License Rules and Regulations will provide and oversee entertainment requests within the City for limited duration, which shall be governed by the definitions, guidelines and terms as contained herein.

Petition for application for entertainment is applicable to those persons or entities holding an alcoholic beverages license for on premise consumption under sections 12 or 14 of G.L. Chapter 138.

The request for an entertainment license shall be in writing and shall describe with specificity the location at which the entertainment will take place, the size of the room, the nature of the entertainment, all wires, cords or electrical conduits that will be utilized for the entertainment, a description of the amplification system, and a description of any decorations that will be utilized during the entertainment.

The License Commission, upon receipt of a written request for a conditional entertainment license, may forthwith forward the same request to the Chief of Police, Chief of the Fire Department, Building Commissioner and Director of the Board of Health for their input and advice. The response from each municipal officer may be required before the License Commission considers the approval of the request. In addition, any questions that the respective municipal officers have for the applicant shall be answered by applicant before the License Commission considers the approval of the request.

Such entertainment license must be held in the same name, by the same owners, and with the same manager as alcoholic beverage licensee; provided, however, that in cases where entertainment on the premises is to be conducted by a person or entity who is an independent contractor at the premises, the alcoholic beverage licensee may seek the approval of the License Commission for an exemption from this requirement based upon a written contract with the independent contractor to book and/or to produce the entertainment. The alcoholic beverage licensee shall be responsible for the actions of such independent contractor on the premises in addition to the responsibility held by the independent contractor pursuant to the entertainment license. The alcoholic beverage licensee shall pay the independent contractor a fee according to the written contract, said fee to be commensurate with the market value of the services, and the independent contractor shall not be given any direct or indirect interest in the licensed premises other than the fee set out in the contract. Said fee shall not be based upon the number of patrons attending an entertainment event. The alcoholic beverage licensee shall provide in the contract for removing the independent contractor in the event that the entertainment is poorly managed or causes violations to occur at the licensed premises.

It shall be a condition of entertainment license, that the alcoholic beverages licensee authorized entertainment shall be fully responsible for all conduct of business being conducted or performed upon the license premises or having effect on surrounding cartilage or neighboring area. That any violation or condition resulting from entertainment would inure and otherwise.

That it is the responsibility of said licensee to provide for the safe conduct of entertainment preventing any entertainment leading to or causing an offense under applicable law, code, ordinance, regulation, guideline or rule, or would lead to creating a nuisance or otherwise endanger public health, safety or order in the area in which the premise is location.

That it is the responsibility of said licensee not to permit any illegality, disturbance or disorder regarding any business or activity conducted in the area in which the premise is located. Said licensee shall be responsible whether said licensee is present or not.

That the Commission, after hearing, upon finding the licensee failed in its responsibility having permitted any illegality, disturbance or disorder or rule or regulation, or any other condition or requirement as stated herein may suspend, modify, cancel or revoke its alcoholic beverage license pursuant to section 64 of G.L. Ch. 138 and suspend or revoke provisions for continued entertainment.


a. No entertainment at the licensed premises may be conducted in a manner such that the noise from the entertainment arises to a nuisance to those persons or entities located outside the boundaries of the premises.

b. No entertainment at the licensed premises may be conducted in a manner such that the noise from the entertainment can be heard in personal residences located outside the boundaries of the premises. It is the intent herein to protect the integrity of residential neighborhoods.

c. No dancing by patrons is permitted except upon proper licensing pursuant to General Laws, Chapter 140, section 183A, and confined to a particular dance floor area which has been approved by the Commission and which is not inconsistent with the entertainment license requirements.

d. No entertainment may take place at a licensed premises and no member of the public may be at the licensed premises except during the hours and days when the Commission has approved the premises to be open to the public. The hours during which entertainment is authorized shall be fixed by the Commission on a case by case basis.

e. No licensee shall restrict or otherwise hinder or delay any duly authorized investigator or agent of the License Commission from entertaining a licensed premise or refuses to provide said investigator or agent with information as may be requested for the proper enforcement and compliance with the condition for which they are licensed. This section shall not operate so as to prohibit any other person or entity from conducting an inspection or carrying out any other action as may be authorized by operation of law.

Entertainment License Terms and Fees

License fees are $100.00 for Entertainment by Performers;

$100.00 for Entertainment by Patrons;

$100.00 for (each ten devices) for Entertainment by Devices,

The fee covers a period of time from date of issue to not later than December 31 from date of issue, unless otherwise indicated by the Commission in accordance with the guidelines, rules or regulations as contained herein or by operation of law under any other applicable rule, regulation, ordinance or provision of law.

Entertainment fee may be waived for municipal celebrations and veteran, fraternal or other civic clubs when the entertainment is provided for the sole purpose and benefit of its members and invited guests. Not the general public or when the facility/premise is rented or leased out for a function to nonmembers.

The Commission may issue a one day entertainment license, upon application. One day license fee is $20.00 One day entertainment license applications may be accepted at the discretion of the License Commission for the same location not to exceed 30 (thirty) times per calendar year. The type of entertainment granted shall be consistent with the type of entertainment authorized herein.

Application Process:

The License Commission requires Entertainment License Applicants to complete an application containing applicant names, cell phone numbers, and entertainment venue addresses, dates, and times. Entertainment Applications are then placed on the License Commission’s agenda for review at the next scheduled hearing.

Entertainment Application:

Application for entertainment is available at the License Commission, City Hall, Medford, MA during daily operating hours or download as Word document here.


The provisions of the Entertainment Rules and Regulations are severable, and if any provision or the application thereof is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect any other provision of the Entertainment Rules or Regulations of the City of Medford’s License Commission.