Street parties or large or commercial events
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If you want to hold a small, non-commercial street party or community event you do not need permission from the Council or any special insurance – but you do need our help to close a road, which we can do for you free of charge. Please read on for more guidance and helpful tips for holding a street party.
A small, non-commercial street party must meet the following criteria:
- fewer than 200 guests invited
- all guests are associated with the immediate vicinity
- no alcohol will be on sale (it is okay to serve alcohol free of charge)
- no formal entertainment (incidental entertainment such as music from a stereo is okay as long as you do not disturb others in the community)
- no tickets are sold for the event
- no food or other merchandise will be on sale (but it is fine to bring food to share with your neighbours)
- no temporary structures (eg stages or marquees – we’re not too worried about a small pop-up gazebo or sunshade, but do make sure they won’t blow away and cause injury to others)
There’s usually no problem obtaining permission to close quiet residential streets, but we are likely to refuse permission to close major routes (classed A and B roads), bus routes, or one-way streets where we think doing so will cause too much disruption to surrounding traffic or impede emergency vehicles. We may also refuse permission if there is another event taking place nearby.
If you would like to close your road to hold a street party or community event, please download, complete and return the road closure application form to Suresh Prajapati by email or post.
Phone: 020 8356 8374
Post: Hackney Council, Public Realm Division, Streetscene (Network & Transportation), Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, London, E8 1DY
Other things to think about
Hopefully your neighbours will help with the party, but please remember that road closures and noise may affect people living nearby. Be considerate and please consult your neighbours about your plans. You can start the party whenever you like during the day but please be considerate of everyone when you plan your start and finish time. It is worth remembering that not everyone will be able to participate so you need to let them know what times you are planning to start and finish the party and take their comments into consideration. You may want to finish by 9pm minimising noise.
You can apply to suspend parking bays in the street where you want to hold your party, but this can be expensive – it may be better just to ask the local residents (who will presumably all be invited) to park somewhere else within the parking zone for the day.
Public liability insurance
You are not required to have insurance if your event meets the 7 criteria listed above, but it is not very expensive (typically between £50 – £100 depending on the number of guests) and you may want to consider taking it out for your own peace of mind. Contact Event Assured or Events Insurance Services.
Food and food hygiene
If you are serving food here are some quick and easy tips to help you prepare your food safely:
- always store cooked foods above raw foods in the fridge to prevent drips and keep food in covered containers
- defrost frozen meat and chicken thoroughly before cooking
- pre-cook meats on the same day as they are to be eaten. This also applies to barbecues
- don’t leave food in the kitchen or outside for too long before it’s eaten. Warm temperatures in the summer will assist bacteria growth
- flies and insects can carry bacteria so always keep food covered
- use a separate kitchen towel or disposable paper towels – don’t wipe hands on a tea towel
- and most importantly – always wash your hands before handling food
Cleaning up afterwards
It’s your responsibility to clean up after your event. It’s best to work out how in advance, and think about how you can make it easier by minimising waste. For example:
- ask people to bring non-disposable cups, crockery and cutlery – don’t use plastic straws as these can injure wildlife
- supply containers so that people can take home any leftovers and eat for free for the next few days (you can put food that’s still left over on a food sharing app such as Olio)
- encourage recycling by having plenty of clearly labelled green sacks (or estate collection bags) for dry recyclables, blue kitchen caddies for food waste and separate bags for general waste
- organise a small team of neighbours to help you clear up
Advice and starter kits
To apply to hold a large or commercial event in the borough you will need to place an application through our application system. This does not constitute a license, nor does its submission automatically gain permission that you have booked the space. Your application will go through a period of consultation before a decision is made. Organisers whose events may cause significant impact on the site or surrounding area may be required to attend one or more HEAT (Hackney Event Advisory Team) meetings. It will help us to understand your requirements if you want to organise an event which is:
- being attended by more than 200 people
- promoted/advertised beyond the immediate vicinity
- selling alcohol
- features entertainment
- selling food or other merchandise
- features temporary structures (eg a stage or marquee)
We will contact you to discuss your event, and any licences or fees which may apply.
Hackney parks are a valuable resource for the local community. They are primarily used for local sporting activities, relaxation, social gatherings, education, dog walking, horticultural pursuits and provide a natural habitat for wildlife.
Community groups qualify for special rates for events in Hackney’s parks. To find out more, and obtain a handy template to take you through all stages of an event planning process, check out our parks events page.
See our What’s On guide to find out what’s on in your local community and promote your events on our website.
Hackney Service Centre
- Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and closed Sat and Sun