Organising a street event

Holding a street event for national and local occasions is welcomed by Essex County Council. We have compiled some useful links and information to guide you, as well as some frequently-asked questions. Please feel free to contact us if you need any more information.

Where can I find information about organising a street event?

The Government publishes useful guidance on Organising a Street Event.

Streets Alive is a non-profit organisation that offers useful advice for street event planning, advice and support.

Whom do we contact to close the road?

In Essex, this is undertaken by the City, District or Borough Council using their Town and Police Clauses Act 1847 powers. To find out who your local council is visit the Government webpage at Apply to Hold a Street Event and put in your postcode. 

Will a road closure application cost money?

You would need to contact your local council to obtain this information.

Is our road a local road?

You can go to the Highways Information Map to find out if your road is defined as a local road and can be considered for closure. Please enable the Highway and Footway Network layer in the Assets category. You will need to accept the terms and conditions to use the map.

Will we need an 'entertainments' licence'?

The Licensing Act 2003 does not require a licence at a private event for entertainment, provided that no charge is being made other than to cover the cost of performers etc. You will only need a licence if you plan to sell alcohol, charge for music and dancing in order to make money or if you hold an event open to the public.

Do we need Public Liability Insurance?

For local roads, once all residents have been informed, it is not considered essential for public liability insurance to be taken out. If organisers are concerned about this, the Streets Alive website has some really good tips. Quotes for insurance can start from as little as £50.

Do we need a licence if we are serving food?

You do not need one for an ordinary street event where food and drink is not being sold. However food safety is important and your local council will be able to advise you on this.

Who can advise us on road signs?

The Streets Alive website (above) gives advice about signs.

Do I need permission to put up bunting?

You do not need to ask permission for ordinary lightweight bunting. 

However, bunting can only be placed across the carriageway from second storey windows and guttering and can only be installed when the road has already been closed for the event. The bunting must also be removed before the road is reopened. You cannot use street lights to hang bunting across the highway carriageway, you can only hang bunting on street lights which are located on the same side of the carriageway. Ladders should never be used against a street light column to attach bunting.

To place anything over the carriageway when the road is going to remain open you would need to apply for an oversailing licence, which would take 6 to 8 weeks to issue.