How to hold an event in a park

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Organising an event in a park comes with its own set of challenges, from obtaining permits to arranging insurance.

How to hold an event in a park

If you're looking for a picturesque location to hold an event, a park could be the perfect choice. Whether it's a small festival, sports day or a company picnic, a park offers plenty of space and natural beauty to make your event a memorable one.

However, organising an event in a park comes with its own set of challenges, from obtaining permits to arranging insurance. In this article, we'll explore the key steps involved in holding an event in a park and offer tips on how to make the process smoother and more successful.

What to consider when holding an event in a public park

Here are 7 key factors you need to consider when you’re looking to organise an event in a public park.

First, can I host an event in a public park?

To hold an event in a public park, you will need to obtain permission from your local council by contacting their Events, Parks or Communities team, or completing an application form via the respective local council website.

Start the process early, as approval times vary from council to council. If unable to provide the required notice, your local council may still consider your application or propose an alternative venue.

If the event location is not on council property, secure permission from the property owner, such as housing associations, schools or businesses. If you discover the land is owned privately, you may find our article on how to hold an event on private land useful.

Obtain necessary licences

Check with your local council whether you need any event licenses for your park event. In accordance with the Licensing Act 2003 you will need permission to:

  • Sell and supply alcohol
  • Sell and supply hot food or hot non-alcoholic drinks between 11pm and 5am (referred to as "late night refreshment")
  • Put on "regulated entertainment" (such as live music, films, indoor sporting events and dance performances)

Once your local council has granted permission, you will receive a permit enabling you to proceed with the park event.

Choose the right park for your event

When choosing a park for your event, consider factors such as location and available amenities. Depending on the event, you should also look for a park that is easily accessible via public transport or has ample parking for attendees. Evaluate the park's layout and size to ensure it accommodates the planned activities and the expected number of guests.

Produce a risk assessment for your park event

A risk assessment for an event in a park involves identifying potential hazards, evaluating the likelihood and severity of incidents, and implementing measures to mitigate risks.

  • Start by conducting a thorough site visit, noting any hazards such as uneven ground, proximity to water or heavy vehicle traffic. Assess the activities and equipment planned for the event, considering factors like weather, crowd size and attendee demographics.
  • Rank risks based on their potential impact and prioritise mitigation strategies accordingly.
  • Develop an emergency response plan and communicate it to all event staff and volunteers.
  • Regularly review and update your risk assessment as the event approaches.

Promote your event

Advertise the park event through social media, local newspapers, community boards, etc. Utilise word-of-mouth promotion to boost attendance and encourage community involvement. Consider using websites such as Eventbrite for larger events. You could also seek support from nearby businesses for potential sponsorships.

For additional ideas on how to publicise your fundraising event, explore our Event Promotion Toolkit.

Plan ahead for the big clean up!

Incorporate a clean up strategy into your planning process to avoid incurring fines from local authorities and to help protect the pristine state of the natural surroundings. Develop a plan for waste disposal and recycling, ensuring rubbish and recycling bins are easily accessible throughout the event. Coordinate with volunteers or staff a litter rota both during and after the event and ensure rubbish is disposed of responsibly.

By leaving the park in pristine condition, you are actively demonstrating respect for the community and local environment, which will help you build a good reputation for any future park events you wish to hold.

Insure your event in a park

Whilst it isn’t a legal obligation to have public liability insurance for your park event, most local councils will insist on it as part of the application process. This type of insurance covers event organisers should they be considered liable for injury to an attendee or for loss or damage to property.

At Events Insurance, we have public liability insurance policies to suit a wide range of events, all aimed at safeguarding you in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Our insurance will cover you for: 

  • Accidental bodily injury to a member of the public 
  • Accidental death of a member of the public 
  • Accidental damage to third-party property 
  • Accidental loss to third-party property 

You may also wish to consider the following types of insurance: 

  • Employers liability - covers you if anyone working at the park event (paid or unpaid) is injured as a result of your negligence as event organiser 
  • Event cancellation - covers you if your park event cannot proceed due to reasons outside your control. This includes unforeseen adverse weather conditions.
  • Event equipment - covers accidental damage, loss or theft of any equipment that you’ve hired or leased for the park event 

Ready to hold your event in a park?  

We hope you’ve found our guide on how to hold an event in a park useful and everything runs without a hitch on the day That said, it’s always wise to be prepared for the unexpected. So if you’re planning on holding one park event or multiple events, our team of expert advisors can help find the right public liability policy for you. Contact us today to find out how Event Insurance can help protect your event. 

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