It is illegal to sell alcohol without a license, so if the cover charge is for alcohol, then it would be illegal. One could charge an entrance fee, but that may violate local ordinances so those would need to be checked.
If money is being charged, most cities require an alcohol permit- please see:
Here are the rules re: licenses:
I could not find case law for MA on this subject, but the court can look to other states for guidance, and recently (2014) a CA court determined that charging an entrance fee is paramount to charging for alcohol, which would violate the above.
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