Foreword by Eric PicklesSecretary of State for Communities and Local Government Street parties and....
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Your guide to organising a street party or fete

Posted on January 13, 2011

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.


Foreword by Eric Pickles
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

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, without having to plough through mountains of forms and red tape. So we have produced this simple step by step guide to how to hold a community event in your local area. It includes one simple form for you to use to let your local authority know about your plans, so you can get on with the real work of organising a fun event.

Good luck.
Eric Pickles Signature

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 below:

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
  • Self-organised

Larger public events:

  • Anyone can attend
  • External publicity (such as in newspapers)
  • Licence usually needed
  • Insurance needed
  • Risk assessment common
  • Professional/skilled organisers

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. Similarly, larger public events attracting more people will require a different process. If you need a Temporary Events Notice or would like to hold a larger public event, please contact your council for further information and advice.

It's that simple

If you would like to hold a street party or fete, you can use the form available here to let your council know about your plans. Alternatively you could go to your council's website to see if they have their own form.

The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, think about what you want to achieve and get in touch with your council at least 4-6 weeks in advance. A good first point of contact will be your council's events or communities team.

More helpful tips, advice and support for organising a successful event can be found on the Streets Alive website and The Big Lunch website Do check them out, they're great.


Source: Central Bedfordshire Council

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