Let’s get this royal street party started!
You may not have received an invitation to the royal wedding, but that doesn’t mean you and your neighbours can’t have your own party and join in the celebrations for Harry and Meghan’s big day. However, there are a few rules you need to stick to if you are planning on holding a street party and Sarah Garner, a solicitor at DAS Law, tells you what you need to know…
Do I need a licence if I want to host a street party?
You do not require a licence to host a street party, as long as it is just for residents and not a public event, but you will have to obtain permission from your local authority and consent to have a road closed off.
How can I apply to have my road closed off?
You need permission from your local council to have your road closed off. You can either complete an online application form which can be found on your local authority website, or by contacting your local authority directly.
If your road is closed for a street party to take place, you will have to ensure that emergency services can obtain access if required. You may be required to notify the emergency services of your planned road closure if the local authority fails to take this action on your behalf.
Are we allowed to sell or serve alcohol?
You are allowed to sell alcohol at a street party, but to do so you will need to obtain a temporary events notice from your local authority. The cost of such a license is currently £21. This licence is only a temporary licence for events not exceeding 500 people including those running the party.
Do I need insurance to host a street party?
Local Government have not set out any requirements for a host of a street party to obtain public liability insurance, and many local authorities do not insist that a policy should be taken out. Local authorities will however request an indemnity to be given that they will not be held liable for any personal injury or damage caused. You may therefore wish to consider protecting yourself and seeking public liability insurance cover. Policies start from around £50.
How late can the street party run?
The latest time that the street party should run until is 11pm. The Noise Act 1996, determines that an offence would be committed if excessive noise is being emitted between night hours. Night hours are defined as being between 23:00 and 07:00 hours.
If you are hosting a street party you should consider when the party should reasonably run until and be respectful not to disturb your neighbours who may be elderly or who may have young children in bed.
Do I need a licence to play music at a street party?
Unless music is the main purpose of the event, you do not need a licence under the Licensing Act 2003 to play live or pre-recorded music at a street party. It’s an offence however to use loudspeakers for any purpose in the street at night between 9pm and 8am.
Who is responsible if someone gets injured at a street party?
Liability for an injury depends on whether someone can be held responsible for causing that injury. Claims are sought where there is evidence that someone has been negligent and that the injury caused was reasonably foreseeable.
You are not required to carry out a formal risk assessment to host a street party, but it would be sensible to consider those who may be attending and ensure that precautions are put in place to minimise the risk of anyone getting injured.
You should take steps such as ensuring table and chairs are set up safely and any cables are covered. It is advisable that you and the residents agree in advance to take responsibility for themselves and to watch out for each other, especially children and other vulnerable people attending the party.