Plan an outdoor event

Before you book

Things to consider before you book

Why you are holding the event

Make sure you have a reason for organising the event. For instance, do you want to bring the local community together or have you thought of something no one else is doing? (there could be good reason for this!). This may be obvious when you start but it can evolve and change direction (sometimes unintentionally) throughout the planning process.

Who your target audience is

Teenagers, mixed age groups, families only, or other groups. This will help you decide what the event content will be, how long it might last.

What the event includes

Have a clear idea of what your event will look like. Deciding who you are aiming the event at and why you are doing it will help you to decide what content will attract the audience you want.

Where you will hold the event

Look through our outdoor event Spaces.

Finding the right location is essential. Consider:

  • Access for you and the target audience
  • Transport links
  • Ground condition - what if the weather is bad?
  • Car parking
  • On site facilities (for instance toilets, power and water supply)

When the event will happen

Decide the best day of the week, time of day and year to hold your event. Always research what else is taking place to make sure your event does not clash with another one nearby otherwise you could be competing for the same audience!

Check out other events that are taking place: Events and things to do

Check the space is available

Each of our outdoor event Spaces has contact details to check the space is available.

Your application

Timescales
When to apply
What your event includes When to apply
Stages, marquees, portaloos, sound and lighting rigs At least 6 months before the event
Expected crowd of 500 or more people At least 6 months before the event
None of the above At least 8 weeks before the event
Road closures Apply for a road traffic closure at least 6 weeks before your event.
Request a road closure
Application forms to hire an outdoor space
Licence application forms

You may need to apply for a variety of licenses to cover the activities at your event. Application forms includes the licences you may need to apply for.

Road closure application
Environmental issues

If you are serving food

Check the regulations and make sure you comply: Food safety at outdoor events

If your event will generate noise

  • Talk to people in neighbouring properties
  • Make sure you are being reasonable about the time and level of noise at the event
  • Get the correct permissions.
  • Avoid holding a noisy event in an area with neighbouring properties too close to another similar event.
Signage on listed buildings

There are strict deadlines to display promotional materials on listed buildings. Find out if a building is listed

Signage can cause significant harm to a listed building and should be avoided as much as possible. Contact Planning at an early stage to discuss your proposal.

It is important that the building remains prominent and no works are carried out that affects its special architectural or historic significance.

Get listed building consent

Apply for listed building consent if you want to attach any form of advertisement or banner that will alter the significance of the listed building. This includes fixings.

You may also need listed building consent for work to separate buildings and structures within the grounds of a listed building.

Insurance

To book council land for an event as a minimum:

  • a non-commercial organisation has to provide a full risk assessment and proof of Public Liability Insurance cover of at least £5 million
  • a commercial event or organisation has to provide a full risk assessment and proof of Public Liability Insurance cover of at least £10 million.

Depending on the risk, scale and nature of the event, the council reserves the right to request:

  • a higher level of public liability insurance cover and more detailed documentation
  • more detailed documentation such as an Event Management Plan and Site Plans

Risk assessments and the Event Management Plan

How to do a risk assessment with blank risk assessment templates

Event Management Plan including site plans

After you have applied

After you submit your application form
  • We will share your application form with the council's Highways, Licensing, Cleansing, and Environmental Health services.
  • We will also inform the Police, Fire and Ambulance services.
  • Depending on the size and nature of the event, we may ask you to attend a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) meeting.
Safety Advisory Group (SAG)

We want to promote reasonably practicable standards of public safety at all events so they are safe, secure and enjoyable.

  • The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) includes people from Highways, Licensing, Cleansing, and Environmental Health as well as the Police, Fire and Ambulance services.
  • It may meet to discuss applications and the event organiser may be required to attend.
  • It advises and helps manage the impact of events held on public and private land and on the highway.
  • It may offer suggestions and advice to an event organiser.
  • An event organiser can request a SAG meeting to get advice.
  • The SAG Chair decides whether a SAG meeting is necessary or not.

What you need to supply to the SAG

You must supply all documentation related to the event.

This may include:

  • Event Management Plan including site plans
  • Traffic Management Plan
  • Risk assessments
Hire charges

Commercial and non-commercial organisations are charged differently.

Hire charges
Type When fee is taken Commercial fee Non-commercial fee Notes
Admin fee When booking is confirmed £30.00 £30.00 Non-refundable
Deposit When booking is confirmed Full rate 50% of full rate Non-refundable. Deducted from final hire charge. Treated as cancellation fee
Bond No later than six weeks before hire period Full rate 25% of full rate Council may deduct cost of any repairs or additional charges incurred by the council which the hirer is liable for. Refunded after the event once any charges have been deducted
Hire fee 25% paid as deposit. 75% to be paid at least one week before the event Full rate 50% of full rate Charge to use a council controlled open space. Doesn't include hire of equipment or anything else
Cancellation fee Upon cancellation Full rate 25% of full rate Taken if the hirer cancels within a stipulated timeframe or other conditions set out in any terms and conditions. It is equal to the non-returnable deposit