Skip to content

Our guide to organising an event

If you are holding an event, you are legally responsible for the safety of anyone attending.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when you plan your event:

  • create a planning timetable including key dates
  • identify a team of people to help plan, organise and run the event, including who is taking responsibility for public safety
  • be clear about what you can achieve on your budget
  • consider the numbers and types of people who will be on site including staff, contractors as well as customers
  • submit an event management plan (EMP) which gives a clear responsible person and chain of command
  • carry out a risk assessment to ensure all aspects of public safety
  • consider whether your event will cause disruption to traffic and/or the local community
  • arrange suitable and sufficient insurance to cover the event

A guide has been produced to help support anyone looking to run an event in Oxfordshire and contains practical advice on issues such as safety, licensing and traffic management. Click on the button below to download the guide.

The government has produced similar guidance:

On our website you can also find guidance on a road closure for a social event or street party.

You may require a licence for your event if it includes the sale or supply of alcohol, the provision of late night refreshment or regulated entertainment.

You can find more more information on the following pages:

As the event organiser you are responsible for ensuring the event goes ahead safely and in compliance with the law including any Covid-19 requirements in place at the time of the event. You may wish to refer to the government guidance on working safely during COVID-19 (performing arts).

Safety Advisory Group

The Council hosts a Safety Advisory group (SAG) that brings together all agencies that have an interest in safety and environmental impact of public events. The SAG meets quarterly or when demand requires. It is a forum to provide advice to organisers and other agencies; it will not plan an event for organisers nor will it confirm that an event is safe to go ahead. A note will be kept of any actions arising as a result of the meeting, and if concerns are raised it is recommended that you confirm this to your insurer. 

Event organisers are required to complete and send the event notification form together with the EMP and event specific risk assessment(s) to at least four months before the proposed date of the event.

Event organisers will be contacted to invite them to attend the next SAG meeting if any agency believes this will be beneficial. Event organisers may be required to send additional documentation before the meeting, such as the site plan, traffic management plan, details of insurance cover, stewarding or security plan, first aid, catering and noise monitoring systems as appropriate.

Contact us - Licensing

01235 422556
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

South Oxfordshire District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE