The information outlined below is intended to help neighbours, residents' associations or community groups plan a street party.
Street parties are non commercial get-togethers arranged by groups of residents for their neighbours. The main differences between a small street party and larger public events are listed below.
Larger public events
|For residents and neighbours only||Anyone can attend|
|Advertised only to residents||Advertised widely, such as newspapers and social media|
|Licences are usually not necessary if the music broadcast is incidental and alcohol is not sold||Licences usually required|
|No formal risk assessment needed, unless a road closure is required||Risk assessments are required|
|Self-organised||Organised by professional or skilled organisers|
Useful information relating to hosting street parties
Organising a small, private street party 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 paid bar or intend to provide entertainment to the wider public, or charge to raise money for your event, you will need a Temporary Events Notice (TEN).
Larger public events attracting more people require a different licensing process. If you would like to hold a larger public event, you can apply to host an event in one of our open spaces.
If you would like to close your street, you can request this as part of our online application form for street parties. It's best to request a street closure at the time of your application as some councils require significant notice for road closures.
Please note that when road closures are permitted, you will need to obtain your own signage at your own cost.
If you require a road closure for a reason other than a street party, please visit the Surrey County Council website.
Road closure signage
If an application is for a cul-de-sac or no through road, then a 'road closed' sign should be displayed. If a 'road closed' sign is not displayed, the closure can not be enforced.
Surrey Highways have a small stock of these signs for their own road works and emergencies. Some specialist traffic management companies may be able to supply you signs, or you could commission a signage company to create a sign on your behalf.
If the application is for a through road, and/or a traffic diversion route is required, you (or the borough on your behalf) should contact Surrey Highways for advice and agreement.
Event organisers should be aware that they are responsible for certain legal liabilities and it is suggested that organisers obtain a public liability insurance policy with an indemnity limit of £5 million. This is the organiser's responsibility to research and obtain.
Most local councils do not request a risk assessment for small street parties. However, it is useful 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 plastic plates and cups rather than glass? Have you made sure an adult is in charge of a barbeque? etc. We can provide you with a risk assessment template and guidance if you wish to complete one.
An alcohol licence is 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 apply for a Temporary Events Notice.
Entertainment and music
There is no need to apply for an Entertainment Licence if your street party is a private party for residents and the music (live or recorded) is not advertised in advance to attract people, and you're not making money. However, it is a good idea to notify households living on or close to your street to let them know you are having a party and that music will be played. It's also a good idea to set a cut-off time when the music will be turned down or off.
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.
Tombolas and raffles
You do not need to apply for a Small Society Lottery Permit if tombola or raffle tickets are sold on the day and the prizes are not worth more than £500 in total. However, if tickets are sold in advance of the event, you will need a lottery registration. Any proceeds from the tombola or raffle must go to a good cause, such as charity or to cover the cost of your party.
Post party clean up
You will need to clean up after your street party. It's your street and 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.
Bunting and decorations
Advice on getting consent to put up bunting over or along the roadside can be found on the Surrey County Council website.