Organising a street party

If you're thinking of holding a street party in West Lancashire, we've put together the following guide. 

Street parties are a great way of getting to know your neighbours and sharing in a national celebration on your doorstep. Ideally your street party should be free and open to everyone who lives on your street.

What type of events does this apply to? 

This guide applies to street parties and fetes that groups of residents get together to arrange for their neighbours. The main differences between a small party and fetes and larger public events are listed below: 

Street parties/fetes Larger public events
For residents/neighbours only Anyone can attend
Publicity only to residents External publicity e.g. newspapers

No licences normally needed if music

incidental and no selling is involved

Licence and insurance usually needed
No formal risk assessment needed Risk assessment common
Self organised Professional or skilled organisers


Do we need insurance cover?

We strongly recommend that Public Liability Insurance for small residential street parties or community events is obtained. This is because you are responsible for anything that might go wrong. Insurance protects you as the organiser for unforeseen incidents.
You will find it helpful to go onto the Streets Alive website (external link) and The Big Lunch website (external link) 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. Insurance is not mandatory and will not affect the outcome of your application and the event taking place. It is however there to protect you and the people attending the event.

Do we need to do a risk assessment?

The council does 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 plastic plates and cups rather than glass?
  • Have you made sure an adult is in charge of the barbecue etc and there are no trailing cables?
  • For inflatable equipment, like bouncy castles, we would require that these are not placed on the highway and instead placed within the garden of a property.
  • Exclusions also exist for other more risky activities such as fireworks which will not be allowed to be set off on the highway.

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 do want to sell alcohol, you will need to submit a Temporary Events Notice (TEN) form. This fee for a TEN is £21.00 and must be applied for a clear 10 working days in advance of the proposed date for the street party.

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.

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 11.00pm). 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 contact the council's Licensing Service 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.
You can visit our Refuse and Recycling pages to find out what can be recycled and where your nearest household waste recycling centres and recycling banks are.

Do you have any further advice or guidance available?

Visit Street Party  (external link)  for advice and information on all aspects of planning a street party. For fun ideas, recipes and general advice visit The Big Lunch (external link).

How do we apply?

If you would like to hold a street party or fete, complete the event application form below and return it to us to let us know about your plans.
 • Download the  event application form (Word, 384kb)
Send the completed form to: West Lancashire Borough Council, Technical Services Section, 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk, Lancashire L39 2DF. Alternatively you can email your completed form to


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