Organising a street party
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, so we have produced this simple step by step guide to how to hold a community event in your local area.
Use the links below to find out more:
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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
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
Larger public events
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- Anyone can attend
- External publicity (such as in newspapers)
- Licence usually needed
- Insurance needed
- Risk assessment common
- Professional/skilled organisers
Apply for the right licence
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 Temporary Event Notice which is a type of temporary licence and costs £21. You can download a temporary event notice application form here. Similarly, larger public events attracting more people will require a different process.
If you would like to hold a street party or fete, you can download, print and complete a street party application form and return it to:
The Licensing Unit,
Lichfield District Council,
District Council House
More helpful tips, advice and support for organising a successful event can be found on the Streets Alive website, The Big Lunch website and gov.uk.
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Frequently asked questions
Do we need insurance cover?
Most of the time we won't ask for public liability insurance cover for a small residential street party. But where you or we insurance would be a good idea you might find it helpful to go to The Streets Alive website or The Big Lunch website for further advice. Quotes for insurance start from as little as £50. The costs can always be split between residents, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the costs.
Do I need to do a risk assessment?
We won't generally ask for a risk plan for small street parties, but you may wish to think about how you can minimise things going wrong and have a back-up plan, for example - 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 barbecue etc.
We're serving alcoholic drinks - do we need an alcohol licence?
No, 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 to apply for a Temporary Events Notice. This form costs £21.
We're playing music - do we need an entertainment licence?
No - 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, whether it's live or recorded.
Do we need a permit to serve food?
No - 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.
We're having a tombola/raffle - do we need permission?
Probably not. 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 regulations (however, if tickets are sold in advance of the event, you will need a
lottery registration - contact our licensing unit for more information on 01543 308066).
Any proceeds from the tombola/raffle must go to a good cause such as 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 for donations.
Do we need to clean up afterwards?
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.