Guide to street parties
This guide applies to simple street parties organised by residents in a single residential street without external publicity. Larger public events in more streets require other arrangements.
What is a street party?
Differences between street parties and other public events are shown below:
|Street parties||Other public events|
|For the local community - neighbours||Anyone can attend|
|Publicised locally - village newsletter or community Facebook page||Publicised externally - newspapers or open Facebook page|
|On a quiet residential street or in a community building||In parks, large buildings|
|Insurance requirement unlikely||Insurance required|
|Licence requirement unlikely||Licence required|
|Safety Advisory Group (SAG) involvement unlikely||SAG involvement|
Why have a street party?
Street parties are a good way for residents to meet their neighbours. This is the rock on which communities are built. The events can be held during the Platinum Jubilee celebration. Most people attend, mixing all ages and backgrounds, and the events are usually self-organised and funded.
Street parties build communities by:
- supporting social cohesion between ethnic and cultural backgrounds and age groups
- reducing fear of neighbours
- reducing fear of crime and may reduce crime through watchful neighbours
- perhaps reducing anti-social behaviour
- giving children a chance to play together in their street for a day
You should not need a risk assessment. As long as consideration is given to the safety needs of all those attending, common sense precautions should be enough.
The Licensing Act 2003 does not require a music licence at a street party unless amplified music is one of the main purposes of the event. However, should the event include the sale of alcohol or food, or include a publicised programme of performance then appropriate licences/notices would be required.
There is sometimes some form of 'performance' by an amateur resident or by children. But this is normally 'incidental' to the event and there is normally no money involved and the public outside the street is not invited as there is no publicity. The 'performance' is not the main focus or the reason for the event and music is background for the day.
You do not have to register a lottery (which includes raffles, sweepstakes and tombolas) if you are running an 'incidental lottery', but tickets must be sold at the event and prizes cannot be rolled over from one event to another.
The Gambling Commission's website has more information about running a lottery.
However, if you plan to sell alcohol you will need to check whether you need a Temporary Event Notice.
The Council believes that most small street parties do not 'require' public liability insurance, although we may 'recommend' it. The risks at a small street party are very low and the cost of insurance is a block for residents.
If you think insurance would be a good idea, have a look at the advice on The Street Party Site and The Big Lunch websites and shop around. The Big Lunch has negotiated special rates for street party insurance starting at just £28, which can be split between people attending, or you could ask for donations to cover the costs.
Larger public events would need insurance. Where applicable the use of conditions and disclaimer/indemnity clauses should be considered. We would advise that you request details of insurance cover for any equipment that is hired or services to be provided, e.g. bouncy castles/entertainer.
Noise is potentially a problematic issue at even small street parties. Usually, this does not become a problem as residents manage to negotiate amongst themselves.
We recommend limiting the time and volume, and suggest ideally acoustic live music as tastes of music style, volume and lateness vary widely.
It is rare for the cleaning of the road after a street party to be a problem as it is on residents' own doorsteps, though sometimes there can be a short delay.
The Council advises residents against using household paints.
Organisers can contact the council for road closures. For most small parties in quiet streets where you need to close a road, all your council needs to know is where and when the road closure will take place, so they can plan around it (for example, so emergency services know).
For any major road closure, you may have to apply to Norfolk County Council.
Please see our Event forms and guidance page for further information.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed that one-off events such as street parties are not usually considered food businesses, so there are no forms to fill in. However, you must ensure that any food provided is safe to eat.
Organisers can refer to the Food Standards Agency: How to safely host a street party page for more information about food safety.
In case the event is to be held on council land, organisers can request permission by contacting our Property Services team to ensure they are advised of any restrictions.
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- tel: 01493 846876
What can go wrong?
There is not much that can't be sorted.
Some examples of what to watch out for:
- an important delivery or a disabled driver has to drive in and out - be careful and let them
- a child falls over or wanders into other roads - all adults should watch out for the children
- someone turns the music up too loud - they must be stopped to prevent neighbours being disturbed
- gatecrashers probably won't happen unless there is loud music late in the party
More helpful tips, advice and support for organising a successful event can be found on:
- The Big Lunch website, where you can request a free Big Lunch pack for organisers
- The Street Party Site: meet your neighbours in your traffic-free street
- our Event forms and guidance page (event notification and other relevant forms)
Should you require any further advice or guidance regarding organising an event, please email email@example.com.