What is Legislation?

Legislation (or “statutory law”) is law which has been produce by a governing body in order to regulate, to authorise, to sanction, to grant, to declare or to restrict. In terms of events, Legislation defines the governing legal principles outlining the responsibilities of event organisers, and other stakeholders such as the local authority, to protect the safety of the public.

The key piece of Legislation that applies to events is the 2003 Licensing Act. It is very important that you familiarise yourself with the key points in this act as you have a legal duty, whatever the size of your event, to comply with this. You can ready more about the 2003 Licensing Act and the different types of licences that may apply to your event on the Types of Licence page in this section.

In addition to the 2003 Licensing Act, there is a lot of government legislation that applies to events, and as a result getting permission to hold one can be daunting at the first attempt.

Alongside the 2003 Licensing Act, all proposed events must conform to the following guidance and legislation:

  • The Event Safety Guide: A guide to health, safety and welfare at music and similar events (HSG 195)
  • The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
  • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Successful Health and Safety Management (HSG 65)
  • RIDDOR 1995
  • The Children’s Act 2004
  • Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
  • Equalities legislation including public duties on race, gender and disability

Further details on these policies can be found in the Regulations page of this section.

Who monitors compliance to legislation and best practice?

Each local authority has a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to provide advice on event safety matters and to ensure that public safety is maintained. SAG’s consider all event-licensing requests and offer advice and guidance to all parties concerned. For further information, please read the dedicated section on Safety Advisory Groups.