Quick Links to FAQS;Where And When How do I use this resource Street Parties Accessibility Licensing and Permissions Event Management Health and Safety Types of Event At your event
Where And When
Who do you contact to talk about your event?
You can read the Borough Guide to see a map of the 33 Boroughs in the capital, and click through to their individual websites for further information on the contacts to discuss your event.
Where should you hold your event?
London offers a huge variety of locations, with some fantastic parks and open spaces. You can read the Borough Guide to see a map of the 33 Boroughs in the capital, and click through to their individual websites for further information on the spaces available for events.
How much notice do I need to give you?
It is best to give the relevant local authority as much notice as possible, however, actual guidelines vary between boroughs. You should contact your local authority events officer for more details.
The more time you allow to plan for your event, the better it will be as this will allow you to raise the funding required, engage the local community, communicate with your stakeholders, think through your planning and market your event. You can consult the Timescales section for further information, but as a guide, allow between 6 months to a year to plan your event, depending on the licences you may need.
How can I find out if my chosen location is available?
You should contact your local authority events officer who can tell you if the location is free on the dates(s) you want, or if your preferred date(s) clash with any other events, filming or roadworks.
How do I use this resource
What are the most important sections to read in the Toolkit?
Once you have a good overview of the process of starting your planning, the two topics that will really help you get to grips with organising a safe and well managed event are Event Management and Health and Safety. You need to allow a bit of time to work through each page in these sections in detail to give yourself a really good background to your legal responsibilities.
Each section of the toolkit contains useful and important information, so we advise you to invest some thought in each! The navigation panel is designed to make it easy for you to scroll your way through the key headings in the toolkit for a quick guide to the contents. As you hover over each tab, it will reveal the pages contained within that section.
Where should you start using this Toolkit?
The Planning section will give you a good overview of all the considerations you need to work through before getting started on your event – so this is the first place to begin. You need to think about thenature of your event, your team, and the timescales required to obtain the necessary permissions.
How do I find something specific in this Toolkit?
The Search box at the top right hand side of this site allows you to search all of the content in the Toolkit using key words. Type the word into the white box, and click on ‘SEARCH’. If you cannot find what you are looking for, try another spelling, or reduce the number of words you are searching.
How do I organise a street party?
As you want to hold an event on a public highway, you will need to speak to the relevant local authority. They can let you know if the location you want is free and if it will be possible to hold your party. As you need to close your road to hold the party, you will need to apply for a road closure. If your road also has resident parking and the residents are not invited to your party, you may need to arrange for them to be able to park somewhere else.
If you expect a large number of people to attend, you should follow event planning guidance on this website. You may want to consider security or limiting attendance by using invitations or wristbands. You will also need to consider how you will talk with everyone living on the street to check that they are happy to let the party go ahead. If you want to sell food or alcohol to the public at your party, you will also need to apply for additional licences.
Is my event on the public highway?
A ‘public highway’ is classed as any pavements, walkways, roads or pedestrian areas. If you are unsure if your event is on the public highway, you can check with your local authority.
Do I need to make adjustments for disabled people?
Yes you do. Your event cannot discriminate against anyone with a disability in terms of access, either as an attendee or as a member of the public.
For more info please see the Accessibility section of this toolkit.
Licensing and Permissions
What is a Premises Licence?
For more info please see the Licensing and Permissions section of this toolkit.
What is a Temporary Event Notice?
For more info please see the Licensing and Permissions section of this toolkit.
What happens if the Council or one of its partners withdraws support?
If your local authority or one of their partners (such as the Police or Fire Brigade) withdraw support, then your event cannot go ahead in its current form. Local authorities and agencies will never withdraw support without a valid reason and they will do their utmost to alert you to any risk of this outcome and to support you to take measures to correct the problem.
I want to collect money for charity, how do I do this?
If you want to collect money by holding a fundraising event, the process is no different to holding any other event. If you are intending to hold street collections, a street collections permit may be required. Please see the Licenses and Permits section of this Toolkit for more information. For more info please see the Licensing and Permissions section of this toolkit.
Can I have alcohol at my event?
Yes you can, provided that it does not endanger public safety and is appropriate to the size and audience profile of your event. If you decide to sell alcohol, you will need to apply for a Premises Licence (if your event is for over 500 people) or a Temporary Event Notice (if your event is for 499 people or less). For more info please see the Licensing and Permissions section of this toolkit.
Do I need Public Liability Insurance?
Yes, in almost all cases. If you are a school, community centre or other public organisation, you probably already have Public Liability Insurance (PLI). If not, you will need to arrange PLI for your event, usually up to £5 million. For more info please see the Insurance section of this toolkit.
What is an Event Management Plan?
An Event Management Plan is a document you create throughout your planning process and then use on the day of your event. It’s a detailed breakdown of how your event will run safely and holds information such as licences, contact information for key people, parking arrangements, crowd and traffic management plans and risk assessments. For more info please see the Event Management Plan section of this toolkit.
Do I need to write a production schedule?
If you have an event that will be setting up, maintaining and then breaking down a designated event area, then you will need to write a production schedule. This is a plan telling everyone involved in the event when each element is expected to happen, which helps the event to run smoothly. For more info please see the Event Management Plan section of this toolkit.
Do I need to book parking?
Depending upon your venue, if you have vehicles that are required for your event, yes. Examples would be parking for event organisers, generators, food sale vans, or guests. For more info please see the Traffic Management section of this toolkit.
Do I need a Traffic Management Plan?
If you are suspending parking, disrupting or diverting traffic or impacting upon the public highway at all, you will need a traffic management plan. This can be submitted with your Event Management Plan. As part of this process, a Temporary Traffic Order may need to be applied for. For more info please see the Traffic Management section of this toolkit.
Will I need a crowd management plan?
Potentially. This will depend on your event audience profile and the location and time of your event. If you are planning to have an event with a large number of people arriving or leaving at one time, you will definitely need to consider a crowd management plan.
Health and Safety
How do I do a risk assessment?
You can ask your local authority for a a Risk Assessment template, but the purpose is for you to identify all potential risks (such as chairs stacked by a fire exit), identify who is at risk (people trying to exit during a fire) and explain how you will mitigate or prevent the problem (store the chairs somewhere else).
For more info please see the Risk Assessment section of this toolkit.
Types of Event
What is a commercial event?
A commercial event is a profit-making activity that does not generally benefit the community. Examples would include product launches, sampling or publicity stunts. For more info please see the Types of Event section of this toolkit.
What is a public event?
A public event is an event where at least 75% of the attendees are members of the public . For more info please see the Types of Event section of this toolkit.
What is a private event?
A private event is an event where entrance to the public is restricted. For more info please see the Types of Event section of this toolkit.
At your event
Can I have face painting at my event?
Yes you can, provided that your face painter is properly trained, has public liability insurance and can have access to clean water. An Environmental Health officer may check that everything is alright on the day. Face painting should not be done on any children under the age of two.
The same conditions apply to temporary tattoos and henna art. Please note that any henna containing paraphenylene diamine (PPD) will not be permitted. Any face paints used should be water soluble and hypoallergenic.
Can I have balloons at my event?
It is possible but not encouraged, as balloons kill wildlife and cause eyesores when they get trapped in trees or on buildings. For wildlife friendly balloon alternatives please see the Marine Conservation Society website: www.mcsuk.org
Can I have banners at my event?
Yes, provided approved in advance under the local authorities advertising policy. If you want to use lampposts or any other street furniture to hang your banners, you will need to ask permission from the local authority or the owner of the street furniture. For more info please see the Licensing and Permissions section of this toolkit.
Can I sell food at my event?
Yes, as long as you have the appropriate food safety measures in place. Discuss this with your local authority events officer who can advise you further depending upon what kind of food you want to sell. For more info please see the Licensing and Permissions, and Food Safety sections of this toolkit.
Can I hand out goodie bags or freebies?
Yes, provided that your free gifts will not cause littering as this is a fineable offence. Free alcohol sampling may not be allowed and it is preferred that you do not to hand out free samples that could damage wildlife, such as balloons. You will be expected to clean up any waste that is caused as a result of your free gifts.
If one of your partners or sponsors intends to hand out leaflets or samples, they will need to have written consent from you as the organiser.
For more info please see the Waste Management section of this toolkit.
Can I play music?
Yes, provided that the premises you are using has a licence that allows music to be played and that it does not exceed a reasonable level (your local authority events officer can advise you on this). You may need to obtain additional licences. For more info please see the Licensing and Permissions section of this toolkit.