What to consider when organising a street party

If you are organising a street party, we ask you to:

  • allow reasonable pedestrian access at all times
  • speak with your neighbours to ensure that residents agree to this closure
  • allow vehicular access for emergencies at all times - please ensure that you allow enough width on one side of the road for a vehicle to access properties
  • erect road closure signs and barriers before the event and remove them when the event finishes
  • clear the public highway (roads, footways and verges) immediately after the event finishes

We will be liaising with a Traffic Management Company to supply the necessary signage but if signage is limited, this will be on a first come first serve basis.

What sort of event does this apply to? 

This is about the sort of street party that groups of residents get together to arrange for their neighbours. The main differences between a small street party and larger public events are listed below:

Street parties:

  • For residents/neighbours only
  • Publicity only to residents 
  • No licences are normally necessary if music is 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 is very simple and generally they do 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 see GOV.UK for further information and advice [https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-a-licence/temporary-event-notice/coventry/apply-1].

What to do next

We have drafted a letter that you can send around to local residents to let them know all about your proposed street party. You can download a copy of the letter [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/downloads/file/12185/street_party_letter_to_residents] and print it for your own use.

The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, think about what you want to achieve and get in touch with us as soon as possible. More helpful tips, advice and support for organising a successful event can be found on the Streets Alive website www.streetparty.org.uk [http://www.streetparty.org.uk].

Please see our list of FAQs and checklist [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/127/events/2114/organising_a_street_party_in_coventry/2] for street party organisers.

Organising a street party

Please complete the street party application form [http://www.coventry.gov.uk/applystreetparty].

Street parties

Frequently asked questions and checklist

Do we need insurance cover?

We are not asking for public liability insurance cover for a small residential street party. But where you or your council think insurance would be a good idea you might find it helpful to go on Streets Alive (www.streetparty.org.uk) for further advice. Quotes for insurance start from as little as £50. The costs can always be split between residents, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the costs.

Do I need to do a risk assessment?

Most local authorities do not ask for a risk plan for small street parties, but you may wish to think about how you can minimise things going wrong and have a back up plan, for example - what would you do if there was bad weather? Can you use reusable or recyclable plates and cups rather than glass? Have you made sure an adult is in charge of the barbeque etc.

We're serving alcoholic drinks - do we 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 will need to contact your council for a Temporary Events Notice form. This form costs £21.

We're playing music - do we need an entertainment licence?

No - if your street party is a private party for residents and the music is not advertised in advance to attract people, and you’re not making money then there is no need for a licence for your music, whether it’s live or recorded. Please be mindful about the volume of the music and children's bedtimes etc.

Do we 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). Remember you can always ask your neighbours to bake a cake, make a sandwich or bring food to share with one another. This is also a good way to bring different groups of people together.

We’re having a tombola/raffle - do we need permission?

Probably not. If the tombola/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 a lottery registration but do speak to your council first). Any proceeds from the tombola/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.

Do we need to clean up afterwards?

Yes, you will need to clean up after your street party. It’s your street, your party, so keep your local area clean and tidy. Let people know in advance what time the party will finish and have a section set aside for bin bags and recycling.

Events team

Address: One Friargate

Telephone: 024 7697 7642 [tel:02476977642]

Food safety tips

Make sure that the food you are preparing and sharing is safe by following the tips below:    

  • Ensure the area where you are preparing food has been cleaned and sanitised.
  • Wash your hands before you start preparing food and after handling raw meat.
  • Store raw and ready to eat foods separately.
  • Wash fresh fruit, vegetables and salad items before use.
  • Keep ready to eat chilled foods cold until you are ready to serve them.
  • Ensure cooked foods are thoroughly cooked.
  • Do not keep food out at room temperature/outside for too long especially if it is a warm day.

Further information/advice