Events guidance

Events guidance

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

Step 1. Assign an event organiser

The event organiser shall:

  • 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 4. Does your event come under the Licensing Act 2003?

It is important that you check with the City Council as the Licensing Authority whether your event requires a permit by contacting us as soon as you have submitted the event application form. Under the Licensing Act 2003 the following activities require a permit from the Newcastle City Council Licensing Office. Any activity involving:

  • The supply of alcohol;

  • The provision of late night refreshment; or

  • The provision of regulated entertainment (plays, films, indoor sporting events, boxing or wrestling, playing of recorded music, live music or performances of dance).

Newcastle City Council in partnership with Urban Green Newcastle currently holds some 28 Premises Licences which have already been granted under the Licensing Act 2003, for the use of bodies and organisations which may require the use of these Premises Licences for licensable activities. These licensable activities range from the sale of alcohol through to the performance of live music and the performance of plays.

In terms of the legal process the City Council in partnership with Urban Green Newcastle therefore has very much made it easier for events in the City needing permission under the Licensing Act 2003 to take place.

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 go to 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 7. Undertake a risk assessment

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.

Step 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

Step 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.

Step 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. 

Step 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.

Further advice on this matter may be obtained by contacting Public Safety & Regulation:

Step 12. Consider the noise levels at your event

If your event is likely to have a noise effect on the local community, it is the responsibility of the event organiser to follow the noise guidelines provided by Newcastle City Council. For advice please contact Public Safety and Regulation:

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.


Events Team, Operations and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. Phone: (0191) 211 6582. Email:  

Did you know?

Typically the Events team deal with some 80 plus events held every year across the city from fun runs to international sporting events.

During the weekend of the Heineken Champions Cup Final in May 2019 some 100,000 people visited Newcastle over the weekend. Early indications suggest it boosted the city centre's economy by £35m, with hotel occupancy in Newcastle standing at 97% on Friday and Saturday.

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