New OLCC Rules: What is “Amplified Entertainment”?

New OLCC Rules: What is “Amplified Entertainment”?


The OLCC recently enacted two new rules and amended a third applicable to licensed outdoor areas.  The effective date for these changes is June 1, 2014.

  1. OAR 845-005-0329.  Licensing Outdoor Areas Not Abutting a Licensed Building.
  2. OAR 845-005-0331.  Licensing Outdoor Areas Abutting a Licensed Building.
  3. OAR 845-006-0309.  Requirements for Outdoor Areas Not Abutting a Licensed Building

All licensees with outdoor licensed areas should review these changes to ensure that they are in compliance by June 1, 2014.  

Food cart licensees should pay particular attention to the new operational requirements set out in OAR 845-006-0309.  The reference to “areas not abutting a licensed building” is primarily code for “food carts.”

One issue that may be of particular concern to both brick and mortar and food cart licensees relates to when “amplified entertainment” will be allowed.  For brick and mortar licensees, the OLCC will be able to cancel the license for an outdoor area effective June 1st if “the applicant or licensee will allow amplified entertainment in the outdoor area between 12:00am and 7:00am.”  For food cart licensees, it will be a category III violation if there is “amplified entertainment” from 10:00pm to 7:00am effective June 1, 2014.

Interestingly, the requirement regarding amplified entertainment is respectively a licensing requirement for brick and mortar licensees and a violation for food cart licensees.  It is not a licensing requirement for food cart licensees and it is not a violation for brick and mortar licensees.  This could lead to very different outcomes for non-compliance for this two categories of licensees.

Much will depend on the OLCC’s definition of “amplified entertainment.”  Would it include playing recorded music over a speaker?  Only live entertainment, such as DJ’s, bands, etc.?  If the former, we can all anticipate some very quiet outdoor seating areas after midnight in Oregon.