Organising a street party

Street parties are simple to organise.  This guidance sets out what you need to think about, busts the myths about what’s needed, and includes a simple form to let us know about your plans.  

What sort of events does this apply to?

This is about the sort of street parties that groups of residents get together to arrange for their neighbours. The main differences between a small street party and other public events are listed below:

Street Parties

Other public events 

For residents/neighbours only  Anyone can attend 
Publicity only to residents  External publicity (such as in newspapers) 
In a quiet residential road or street  In buildings, parks etc 
Self-organised  Profession/skilled organisers 
Normally no insurance  Insurance needed 
No formal risk assessment needed  Risk assessment common 
No licences normally necessary unless the sale of alcohol is involved  Licence usually needed 


Organising a street party is very simple and does not need a licence. 

Streets Alive and The Big Lunch have great websites to help you plan.  

Risk assessment

You should not need a risk assessment – as long as consideration is given to the needs of all those attending, common sense precautions should be enough.

Do I need a licence

The Licensing Act 2003 does not require a music licence at a street party unless amplified music is one of the main purposes of the event.

However, if you plan to sell alcohol you will need to check whether you need a Temporary Events Notice.  This is a temporary permission for licensable activities which currently costs £21 and covers events of less than 500 people. For more information or to make an application, please contact your local licensing authority by entering your postcode at Temporary Events Notice.

Road closures

For most small parties in quiet streets, all we need to know is where and when the closure will take place so we can plan around it (for example, so emergency services know). A traffic regulation order will need to be put in place, so you need to let us know in plenty of time. If we need more information, we will let you know.

You can organise a gathering or 'Street Meet' on private land, such as a driveway or front garden, without any requirement to fill in council forms.  Streets Alive has some excellent guidance on how to go about it.

Road signs

You can hire or buy signs, or even print your own from downloadable templates if they are for use in daylight. Streets Alive gives advice about this.

Insurance

There is no requirement to have public liability insurance. But if you think insurance would be a good idea, have a look at the advice on the Streets Alive and Big Lunch websites and shop around.  Quotes for insurance start from as little as £50, which can be split between people attending.

Food licence

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed that one-off events such as street parties aren't usually considered food businesses, so there are no forms to fill in.   

However you must ensure that any food provided is safe to eat.

The FSA provides more detail about street parties on its web site at:
http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/parties

Further advice for community groups on providing safe food can be found here:
http://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/food-hygiene/charity-community-groups

The NHS Choices website has practical tips on how to prepare and cook food safely at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/Foodhygiene.aspx