Outdoor Events

Are you organising an outdoor music event?

For the purposes of this guidance:

• ‘small’ events are those with less than 500 people in attendance at any one time.
• ‘medium’ events will be events with 500-4,999 people in attendance at any one time.
• ‘large’ events are those with 4,999+ people in attendance at any one time.

** COVID-19 **

For up to date information please visit Gov.uk coronavirus

Gov.uk FAQs what you can and can’t do.

Gov.uk advice for Working Safely during Covid-19 for outdoor events.

Events Industry Forum Keeping workers and audiences safe during COVID-19 In the Outdoor Event Industry in England.

Ensure that as part of your event planning process that you have a robust cancellation policy (and appropriate insurance).

Will my event need to be licensed (Licensing Act 2003)?

No licence is required for live unamplified music between 08:00hrs and 23:00hrs if the audience is no more than 500.

A licence is always required for the “sale or supply of alcohol”.

Licensable activities include:

  • the sale/supply of alcohol.
  • the provision of regulated entertainment – plays, films, live music, recorded music, performance of dance.
  • the provision of late night refreshment (the sale of hot food or drink (including non-alcoholic drinks) between 23:00 and 05:00hrs.

If your event involves activities that require a licence, and the premises is not already licensed, a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) or Premises Licence may be required.

Temporary Event Notice

Temporary Event Notice (TEN) is restricted to events where there will be no more than 499 people (including performers/staff) on the premises at any one time.

A TEN must be made to the Licensing Authority at least 10 working days in advance of the event (NOTE: you should submit your TEN as early as possible* before the event because an Event Management Plan (see below) and other relevant documents may be required ; without an Event Management Plan etc there is a risk that a TEN will be subject to an objection).

(*If your event will be considered by a Safety Advisory Group; the agencies within the group will need to see your completed Event Management Plan at least 8 weeks before the event).

One TEN can include multiple licensable activities for the same event.

For more information please visit our Temporary Event Notice (TEN) page.

Premises Licence

Events with a capacity of 500 persons or more will require a Premises Licence.

The premises licence application process takes a minimum of 28 days plus an additional 28 days to determine if there are objections.  You should make your application at least 4 months* before the event and be aware that there is the risk that a premises licence may not be granted.  Therefore, you may wish to obtain a premises licence before making any financial commitments e.g. booking bands, stage equipment etc.

(*If your event will be considered by a Safety Advisory Group; the agencies within the group will need to see your completed Event Management Plan at least 8 weeks before the event or the timescale set in licence conditions).

For more information please see our Premises Licence page.

Please see Gov.uk for further guidance on Entertainment Licensing.

Planning your outdoor event

The page provide some advice on what you must do when you start planning your event. You should read this before beginning your Event Management Plan.

This section is also applicable to events which do not include licensable activities

Event Management Plan

This page provides guidance on completing an Event Management Plan. You should also subscribe to the Purple Guide for further guidance.