Events guidance

Events guidance

If you are organising an event you should follow this guide to help you.

1. Assign an event organiser

The event organiser must:

  • check Government Covid 19 restrictions information
  • submit an event application form
  • prepare an event manual in consultation with the key agencies.
  • attend an initial Safety Advisory Group Meeting, and additional Safety Advisory Group Meetings if necessary.
  • keep written records of issues discussed at these meetings for future reference.
  • comply with the safety requirements of the Safety Advisory Group and submit all risk assessments for the event.
  • appoint an event safety officer who can provide a CV and relevant references, and can demonstrate competency throughout the planning and the actual event.
  • provide site plans indicating all relevant details.
  • provide all other relevant information as deemed necessary
  • seek Disclosure and Barring Service checks on any staff working directly with children.

2. Get permission to use the land where the event is to take place

Always check who owns the land where your event is to be held and obtain permission to use it.

Agreement (in principle) must be obtained from the relevant land manager before proceeding with the rest of the process.

  • For land owned by Newcastle City Council (excluding parks) you must contact Property Services.
  • If you are intending to hold your event in a Newcastle park, then please contact Urban Green Newcastle 
  • If you are intending to hold your event on a public road please find out how to apply for a road closure.
  • If you wish to hold a small street party or fete for you and your neighbours, or a one off event for children to play, find our how to apply for street party permission.
  • If you are looking to organise a series of regular events for children, to allow them to play out on a closed road, apply for our Play Streets scheme.

The Land Licence requires the event organiser to return the land to the City Council and Urban Green Newcastle after the event in the same condition they acquired it.

3. Submit an event application form

All event organisers are required to submit an event application to obtain permission for the use of council land.

The event application form (pdf) must be submitted at least thee months prior to the event taking place.

4. Licensing

It is important that you check with us whether your event requires a licensing permit by contacting us as soon as you have submitted the event application form.

Under the Licensing Act 2003 you will need permission to:

  • supply alcohol
  • sell hot food or hot non-alcoholic drinks between 11pm and 5am (known as "late night refreshment")
  • put on "regulated entertainment" (plays, films, indoor sporting events, boxing or wrestling, playing recorded music, live music or performances of dance)

We, with Urban Green Newcastle, currently hold 28 premises licences that can be used by organisations that want to put on events in the city. This makes the legal process for those events much easier.

Premises licences are in place in parks such as Leazes Park and Exhibition Park in the city centre and also parks in our neighbourhoods such as Blakelaw Park and Walker Park.  Please contact Urban Green Newcastle for details of these areas.

For any events on the Town Moor make contact with the Freeman of Newcastle

If the event does require a permit covering any of the above activities in one of the parks or areas of land operated by the City Council and/or Urban Green Newcastle, you will need to apply for consent for a licensable activity on council land.

If your application is successful, you will receive a permit to hold your event's activities on the land from the events officer.

5. Produce an event plan

The event plan will outline all the elements of the event - Find out more about how to produce an event plan.

Within this you will need to consider a number of different aspects, including fire risk assessments and a detailed medical plan.

Government guidance on fire risk assessments for open air events is available online.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue advice on fire risk assessments can also be found on their website.

The North East Ambulance Service offer information on producing a medical plan.

6. Attend a Safety Advisory Group meeting

Following the acceptance of an event application form, it is the responsibility of the event organiser to arrange a number of planning meetings with the relevant agencies and the council. View more information about the Safety Advisory Group meeting.

7. Risk assessments

In a risk assessment, risk should reflect both the likelihood that harm will occur and also its severity.

Find out more about how to conduct a risk assessment.

8. Event stewarding

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of stewards at the event. View more information about event stewarding

9. Insurance cover

It is a legal requirement that appropriate insurance cover is provided for the event by the event organiser in respect of public and employer liability.

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to approach companies which can offer suitable insurance cover. Newcastle City Council cannot recommend a specific insurance company as this would be seen as giving preferential advice and would be unfair to the other companies available in the market.

The amount of Public Liability Insurance (PLI) required for events held on Newcastle City Council land is determined on a case by case basis. Typically, minimum PLI cover for £10 million is required.

In order to ensure your event has the correct cover please contact the Insurance Officer by phoning 0191 278 7878.

Copies of the certificates and proof of their validity must be seen and approved on request by the Insurance Officer prior to the event.

10. Make sure your event is accessible to all

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 gives disabled people equal rights to attend, participate in and enjoy organised events.  Event organisers could face legal challenges from disabled people unable to access an organised event. 

11. Food safety

Whether the event is a small fete or a large scale catering event, it is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure that the food (and drink) produced and sold or given away is safe.

The requirements that need to be in place at an event will be dependent upon the nature of the event and the types of food business in attendance. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has produced National Guidance for Outdoor and Mobile Catering. Event organisers should ensure that all traders comply with this guidance.

It is strongly recommended that event organisers only allow businesses with a Food Hygiene Rating of 4 or 5 to trade. This rating should be clearly displayed for the public to see.

A rating of 4 or 5 ensures that the business is registered with their local environmental health department and is operating to a high standard.

You can check the rating of a business on the Food Standards Agency food hygiene ratings website.

For more advice:

12. Consider the noise levels at your event

If your event is likely to have a noise effect on the local community, you must follow our noise guidelines.

For advice please:​​​​​​

  • phone 0191 211 6102 and ask for the noise team
  • email us

13. Comply with smoke-free legislation

If you manage or are in charge of any premises or vehicles that the smoke-free law applies to, you have a legal responsibility to ensure smoking is banned. 

Find out more about smoke-free rules for businesses.

14. Do you need a Performing Rights Society licence?

A Performing Rights Society (PRS) licence is required whenever there is a public performance of PRS-controlled copyright music. This includes both live performances (for example, concerts, recitals, marching bands etc.) and recorded music (for example,  discos, background music, TV screens etc.). The majority of copyright music from the UK, and around the world, is controlled by the PRS in the UK. This includes everything from advertising jingles to entire symphonies. Examples of events licensed by the PRS include carnivals, firework displays, parades, festivals and exhibitions. If an appropriate annual PRS licence is not in place for the land or premises where the event is to be held, the event organiser needs to obtain a licence.

For more information please visit the Performing Rights Society website.

15. After the event

A debrief meeting involving all contributors will be required if necessary as soon as possible following the event. The event organiser must provide a written debrief report. The report must be circulated to the Land Manager, the Event Advisor and the Licensing Officer (when applicable). The purpose of the debrief is to examine and address any problems encountered. It is fundamental that any experiences, either good or bad, are shared between all involved so that future events of a similar nature can benefit from the experience.

16. Drone Filming 

Newcastle City Council welcomes film, television and photographic companies who wish to film/photograph in and around Newcastle. Newcastle City Council does not have a blanket policy on drone flying in the city and each application to film is considered on its own merits.

As a minimum, we would require the following documentation to be completed and guidelines to be followed which are detailed below. In addition to this, we also link in with internal and stakeholders for each filming request received, including the Highways Authority and Northumbria Police and we also consider the activities in the city at the time of the request.

Dependant on the nature and location of the specific request we may also liaise with the following bodies for additional consideration prior to issuing any kind of approval to film; Network Rail, Eastcoast Mainline, Port of Tyne.

Minimum documentation and guidelines required

If you wish to film on Newcastle Council land using a drone you must:

· Ask for permission in advance to film

· Ask for permission from the landowners of the sites covered

· Have a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Licence

· Have a valid “Permissions for Aerial Works” certificate

· Provide evidence of your up to date insurance

· Provide evidence of the proposed flight plan

· Do a site assessment in advance

· Follow current CAA guidelines regarding flying unmanned aircraft

· The pilot must ensure that the area is safe at all times whilst you are using the drone on our land and whilst the drone is in the air.

Before you wish to film using a drone, please give details of when, what and where you would like to film. You will be asked to provide evidence that you hold a CAA licence and have the necessary insurance. We will discuss your request with you, please note not all requests may be granted and you may be charged to film. The responsibility of any flight and its legalities rests with the drone operator and if CAA conditions are broken, this may invalidate your insurance. To find out more visit the following pages on the CAA website:

Contact us

If you want to contact us please:

  • write to Events Team, Operations and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH
  • call 0191 211 6582
  • email our events team  

Did you know?

Kings Coronation

To apply online for your Street Party, click on the link below

You have until 17th April 2023 to make an online application for a Street Party

Kings Coronation Street Party FAQ’s