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Event management safety guidance

From garden fete to music festival this is a quick guide to help you on your way to organising a safe and successful event.

This page is intended to provide consistent advice and instruction for the effective organisation and management of all public events within the county of Worcestershire.

Step 1

Consider 'What', 'Where', 'When' and 'How many'

If you intend to provide any of the following activities at your event then, in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003, you must apply for a licence from Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

(i) Regulated entertainment, which includes the following:

  • Live music
  • Recorded music
  • Films
  • Plays
  • Indoor sporting events
  • Anything of a similar nature (to those listed above)

(ii) Late night refreshment - this relates only to the provision of hot food or drink between 2300 and 0500 hours.

(iii) Sale of Alcohol for consumption on and/or off the premises. Where there is no charge for alcohol provided at an event, as with private parties, then a licence is not be required. However, if a charge is made for the supply of alcohol whether directly or indirectly (for example, by way of ticket or meal price) then a licence must be obtained.

You need to identify exactly where the event is to take place, including grid references if in a field. Obtain a plan of the event site with clearly marked boundaries and show how the event will be set up. Is the event to be held indoors or outdoors? If outdoors do you have a contingency plan in the event of adverse weather? Is the event within Wyre Forest district or in another local authority area?

It is important to identify the dates for your event at the earliest opportunity and ensure that the appropriate contacts are notified as soon as possible. Depending on the size of your event and other events taking place on those days, there may be difficulties providing the necessary emergency cover. If you need to apply for a licence to cover the activities you are intending to provide at the event you will need to comply with deadlines by which applications are submitted to and processed by the Licensing Section. Step 2 outlines the procedures for obtaining a licence.

The number of people attending any event and the means used to control those numbers is very important. This is not only to ensure you have the resources to cope with the number of people on site but also to allow for effective crowd control/management and calculation of stewards required to oversee your event. These matters should be addressed in your Safety Management Plan outlined in Step 3. The number of persons attending an event also has an implication on the type of licence you have to apply for - as shown in Step 2.

Step 2

Apply for a licence to hold your event.

There are two types of licence:

  1. Temporary Event Notice - For small events likely to attract less than 500 people. A Temporary Event Notice (TEN) may be obtained to cover all the licensable activities you propose and can last for up to 4 days (96 hours). This is a simple application process which must be made to Worcester Regulatory Services at least 12 working days before the event.
  2. Premises Licence - For large events attracting 500 or more people or lasting more than 4 days. This is a more complex application process which should be made to the Licensing Section at least 3 months before the proposed event. For large events of over 5000 people at least 6 months prior notice should be given.

Step 3

Draw up an event safety management plan

You need to consider the overall management of your event in respect of the health, safety and well being of all persons likely to be attending or affected by your event, both on and off the site, including staff and contractors. 

All events, no matter how small should develop a safety management plan that covers all the aspects detailed in the checklist below. For small events these aspects can be covered in a simple Risk Assessment for the whole event site.  For larger events, a more comprehensive plan is required providing specific details on each aspect listed in the checklist. 

Event Safety Management Plan Checklist 

  1. Fire safety
  2. Electrical safety
  3. Slips, trips and falls
  4. First aid provision
  5. Lighting
  6. Barriers
  7. Sanitary provisions
  8. Waste bins and collection
  9. Vehicle and pedestrian movements
  10. Crowd management and security
  11. Structural safety (stages, marquees etc)
  12. Water, food and drink
  13. Sound (noise and vibration)
  14. Adverse weather
  15. Special effects (including fireworks)
  16. Emergency procedures and evacuation

A printable copy of this checklist is available under the downloads heading. 

Further event safety guidance is available on the HSE website.

Useful contacts

West Mercia Constabulary North Worcestershire Policing Area: 101

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service: 0800 032 1155

Wyre Forest District Council Events: 01562 732980

Worcestershire Regulatory Services: 01905 822799 or by email

Emergency Planning Unit, Worcestershire County Council: 01905 766171

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