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Planning and organising a large event

There are lots of things to think about when you decide to run a large event. From costs and licences to traffic management and insurance.

Within this section you can find out:

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  • what you need to consider when planning a large event
  • what permissions, licences and insurance you will need 
  • information on traffic management and how to advertise your event

Three months notice is required. Especially for events that need a road closure.

Complete road closure event applications (no outstanding docs/details) received up to 6 weeks before the event may be considered. Incomplete applications received up to 6 weeks before will not be processed.

  • For events with up to 5,000 people, you must give 3 months’ notice.
  • For events with over 5,000 people, you should give 6 months’ notice.

Before submitting the Event Notification Form, please consider the following:

  • Why you are holding the event
  • Whether you need to make a profit
  • Who will attend your event
  • What kind of event will it be, e.g. will there be water based activities, fireworks, music or street stalls
  • Where you want to hold the event and whether you need permission to hold it there. Find out more on the 'holding events on Council land' page.
  • When the event will take place – remember to allow 3-12 months for the necessary licences, inspections and highway issues
  • How long the event will last
  • Whether your event will clash with any other events. This could affect the numbers attending and the support the emergency services can offer

You will also need to consider:

  • whether you need permission to hold the event
  • who needs to be consulted
  • whether you need licences and planning permission

Find out more on the 'Permissions for Large events' page.


The location of your event is one of the most important decisions.  A good location will bring in extra visitors. A bad one can cause major traffic problems and annoy people living nearby.

Here are some things to consider when deciding where to hold your event:

  • Is it easy for people and cars to enter and exit the site?
  • Is there plenty of car parking nearby?
  • Do you need to organise a park and ride system?
  • Is the site near homes that could be affected by noise from the event?
  • If your event will take place on a beach, will it be affected by the tides?
  • If your location is a working site, like a harbour or a farm, will you be able to fit your event around the normal work that is going on at the site?
  • Will your location affect the local environment?  Some sites provide habitat for wildlife or have archaeological remains and can easily be damaged by large numbers of visitors.

If you are organising a large event, you may want to form a committee to help run things. You may need a constitution for your committee.

If you do set up a committee, you will need to nominate:

  • a chairman
  • vice-chairman
  • secretary and
  • treasurer

You may also want to assign some of the other responsibilities to specific committee members, such as:

  • health and safety
  • marketing
  • entertainment
  • staffing
  • catering
  • first aid
  • security

You don’t have to have a large committee.  Committee members can be responsible for more than one aspect of the event.

Agree on your committee meeting dates early on.  You might need to hold more frequent meetings as the event draws closer to ensure that everything is going to plan and deal with any last minute issues.