Guidance on holding a street party

1. 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 in the table below.

Differences between a street party and larger public events
Street parties and fetes Larger public events
For neighbours or residents only Anyone can attend
Publicised only to neighbours or residents Wider publicity (such as newspapers)
Licences not normally needed Licence usually needed
No formal risk assessment needed Risk assessment normally needed
Insurance not needed Insurance needed
Self-organised Professional organisers

Larger public events require a different application process. If you would like to hold a larger public event contact us for advice.

If you want to have a paid 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.

2. Do I need insurance cover?

In most cases you do not need public liability insurance cover for a small residential street party. But where you think insurance would be a good idea you might find it helpful to visit Streets Alive and The Big Lunch for further advice. The costs can always be split between residents, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the costs.

3. Do I need to do a risk assessment?

In most cases you do not need a risk plan for small street parties, but you may wish to think about how you can minimise risks and have a back-up plan.

For example:

  • What you would do if there was bad weather
  • Use of reusable plastic plates and cups rather than glass
  • Making sure an adult is in charge of the barbeque

4. Do I 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 need a Temporary Event Notice.

5. Do I need an entertainment licence?

No, you will not need an entertainment licence if:

  • Your street party is private for residents only;
  • The music is not advertised in advance to attract people (live or recorded); and
  • You are not making money.

6. Do I 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). You can always ask your neighbours to bake a cake, make a sandwich or bring food to share with one another.

7. Do I need permission to have a tombola or raffle?

Probably not but this depends on the circumstances. If the tombola or 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 to contact us for a lottery registration.

Any proceeds from the tombola or 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.

8. Do I need to clean up afterwards?

Yes, you will need to clean up after your street party. Let people know in advance what time the party will finish and have a section set aside for bin bags and recycling. Take your rubbish and recycling home but remember it will be collected one day later than your normal collection day. If you have too much recycling to store, take it to your local recycling site.

Do not leave bin bags on the streets as this may attract foxes and vermin.

9. How do I apply?

The easiest way is to apply online. You can also download our street party guide and application form and return to us by email or post.

You must complete your application at least six weeks before the street party is to be held. There is currently a charge of £70 for all street parties although there are separate arrangements in place for parties celebrating VE day.

For more information call us on 020 8891 1411.

Updated: 31 January 2020