Your Guide to Organising a Street Party or a Fete
Your Guide to Organising a Street Party or a Fete
Street parties and fetes are a traditional part of community life – they are a simple way for us to get to know our neighbours and meet members of our community. We want to make it easier for you to hold these sorts of local events, without having to plough through mountains of forms and red tape. So we have produced this simple step-by-step guide to how to hold a community event on Town Council land.
What sort of events does this apply to?
This is about the sort of street parties and fetes that groups of residents get together to arrange for their neighbours. The main differences between a small street party and fetes and larger public events are listed below:
Street parties and fetes:
- For residents/neighbours only
- Publicity only to residents
- No licences normally necessary if music incidental and no selling is involved
- No formal risk assessment needed
Significant local public events:
- Anyone can attend
- External publicity (in papers)
- Licence usually needed
- Risk assessment needed
- Profession/skilled organisers
Organising small, private street parties and fetes is very simple and generally does not include activities that need a licence, such as selling alcohol or providing certain types of entertainment.
If you want to have a pay bar or intend to provide entertainment to the wider public, or charge to raise money for your event, you will need a licence. Please see details below regarding different licences required and links to application forms.
For events where up to 499 persons are attending where alcohol is for sale or there is a publicised programme of performances, a Temporary Events Notice is required: www.shropshire.gov.uk/temporaryevents
For events where 500 persons or more are attending, a Temporary Premises Licence is required, which will require an application to be submitted ten working days before the event: www.shropshire.gov.uk/premiseslicence
For events where through traffic will need to be diverted, a Road Closure Application is required: www.shropshire.gov.uk/streetparties
For events on Shrewsbury Town Council open spaces, please contact 01743 281010 for further advice.
Wherever there is an event, there are safety implications and generally the larger the event, the more dangerous risks become. In order to prevent any serious danger to the public, our Safety Advisory Group will give advice and information to the event organisers in order to make aware and minimise any potential dangers. The type of event, size of potential audience and the venue should be established before the group is notified. This group is a partnership of emergency services and the local authority. They can be contacted on 0345 678 9006. We would expect Public Liability Insurance for £5 million to be in place for the event. For information on event safety, see: www.shropshire.gov.uk/planninganevent
The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early. More helpful tips, advice and support for organising a successful event can be found on the Streets Alive website: www.streetparty.org.uk and The Big Lunch website at www.thebiglunch.com. Do check them out – they’re great.
Simple events will not need road diversions or licencing issues, but we would like to know about the street parties if being held on Town Council land.
We will complete an application form, so we can ensure the site is prepared for the event.
FAQ’s and checklist
Q: Do we need insurance cover?
A: if you are organising a small residential street party, you could be exposed to a liability claim and we would therefore recommend you take out some form of Public Liability Insurance. If you are a professional organisation or arranging a large event, we would strongly recommend you have Public Liability Insurance cover for a minimum of £2 million.
Q: Do I need to do a risk assessment?
A: we would expect a risk plan for the significant events. However, even for small street parties, you may wish to think about how you can minimise things going wrong and have a back-up plan, e.g. what would you do if there was bad weather? Can you use plastic plates and cups rather than glass? Have you made sure an adult is in charge of the BBQ, etc?
Q: We’re serving alcoholic drinks – do we need an alcohol licence?
A: Licences are only required if alcohol is sold. At a private party, sharing drinks with your neighbours does not require a licence. If you did want to sell alcohol, you will need a licence. For events where up to 499 persons are attending, a Temporary Events Notice would be required (cost £21). For events where 500 persons or more are attending, a Temporary Premises Licence would be required (please consult Shropshire Council’s Licencing Department for further advice).
Q: Can we charge for entry to our event?
A: A charge can be made. However, an event where alcohol or entertainment are included would mean that a licence would be required.
Q: We’re playing music – do we need an entertainment licence?
A: If your street party is a private party for residents and the music is not advertised in advance to attract people, and you’re not making money, then there is no need for a licence for your music. However, if the event included a publicised programme of performances, then the appropriate licence would be required. Please remember to be considerate of any neighbours who may not be attending the event.
Q: Do we need to have a permit to sell food?
A: As a private party, you do not need a licence under the Licensing Act 2003 to sell food (unless you wanted to only sell hot food and drink after 11pm). Remember, you can always ask your neighbours to bake a cake, make a sandwich or bring food to share with one another. This is also a good way to bring different groups of people together.
Q: We’re having a tombola/raffle – do we need permission?
A: If the tombola/raffle tickets are sold on the day and the prizes are not worth more than £500 in total, then it will be exempt from gambling regulation (however, if tickets are sold in advance of the event, you will need a lottery registration). Any proceeds from the tombola/raffle must go to a good cause, such as a charity or even covering the cost of your party. Alternatively, if you did want to raise some money for your local church or charity, you can always ask people to make donations.
Q: Do we need to clean up afterwards?
A: Yes, you will need to clean up after your street party. It’s your street, your party, so keep your local area clean and tidy. Let people know in advance what time the party will finish and have a section set aside for bin bags and recycling.
Q: Will I need to provide signs and barriers?
A: The organisers shall ensure that signs are in position to indicate to drivers that the road is closed. Please note that signs, barriers and cones need to be provided by the organiser and will not be provided by the Town Council or Shropshire Council.
We hope this guidance has made things easier for you.
Good luck with your event!
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