At this time Government are advising local authorities should avoid issuing licenses for events that could lead to larger gatherings forming. We recommend that you keep up to date with the current government guidelines for mass gatherings and social distancing.
See Guidance for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) sectors in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19) This includes links to -
Events Industry Forum. Outdoor events, that are organised by businesses, charitable organisations, and public bodies, may have more than 30 attendees provided -
1. They have carried out a thorough risk assessment and
2. Taken all reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of viral transmission, taking into account that risk assessment, in line with Covid-19 Secure guidance.
This includes ensuring that social distancing between different households or support bubbles is maintained at all times, and between staff and performers. In addition, those operating venues or running events following Covid-19 Secure guidance should take additional steps to ensure the safety of the public and prevent large gatherings or mass events from taking place.
The Events Industry Forum has published guidance on outdoor events which has been developed with input from DCMS.
See Events Industry Forum: Keeping workers and audiences safe during COVID-19 in the Outdoor Event Industry in England Latest publication on 23 July.
Performing Arts. The government has developed a five-stage roadmap to bring performing arts back safely. Outdoor performances with a socially distanced audience are now permitted to take place. Please read Guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants for more information.
Organising outdoor sport and physical activity events. The government has published guidance on a range of issues core to the delivery of outdoor sport and physical activity participation events. Please read - Guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation for more information.
Please note: In accordance with Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.3) local authorities have the power to close and restrict events with immediate effect in order to respond to a serious and imminent threat to public health and control the transmission in its area.
Event Organisers please read letter from South Western Railway - Working together to reschedule public events
Southampton - The Ideal Location for Events and Promotional Activities
From small scale community events to large one-off national and international events, Southampton really is the ideal city for your next event. The city boasts more than 50 parks and green spaces and some of these are located right in the heart of the city centre.
It is useful to send Southampton City Council’s Event Management Team an email and briefly describe what it is you would like to do, where you would like to do it and when. We will then do a quick check to make sure that your proposed event or promotion does not clash with something else that is happening in the city at the same time and that the location you would like to hold your event is available and suitable.
Event and Promotions Application Form
If the location you would like to use is available and suitable to organise your event or promotion, you will be asked to complete and return an Event and Promotions Application form.
Complete the form and email it back to Event Management on email@example.com as an attachment.
The form is designed for all types of events and promotions, so please complete as much information as possible that is relevant to your event, you can always attach supporting information. This form is easy to complete, although if you have any questions or are unsure about anything, contact the Event Management Team for assistance. It is advisable to keep a copy of your completed application form together with the terms and conditions for your own records.
As well as completing the application form, you also need to submit your specific event risk assessment (to include a Covid-19 risk assessment* and a fire risk assessment), public liability insurance details that cover the event, a site plan /route plan and an event management plan.
You can download an Event Plan template. This example can be adapted and can assist you in the whole planning process of your successful event.
You can also download a Guidance to Emergency Planning and Incident Reporting.
Also see - Guidance : Voluntary and community events a 'can do' guide
How much notice do you need? / What happens next
Ideally, contact Event Management about your event as soon as possible as the more notice they have, the more chance there is of being able to overcome any potential problems which may arise.
As a general rule, a minimum 12 weeks’ notice is required. Applications received within this period may not be able to be considered and processed in time. Please note that large and / or complex events may require more notice.
Once your completed application and documentation has been received, it will be distributed to the Southampton’s Events Safety Advisory Group (ESAG). This group consists of representatives from the Police, Fire and Ambulance services as well as other relevant Council departments such as Licensing and Highways. Other agencies are also consulted as necessary depending on the nature of the event.
*In light of COVID-19, the City Council’s Public Health Team has recently joined the ESAG. They will review the COVID-19 risk assessments submitted with applications and provide advice from preventing the spread of infection (PSI) perspective; taking into account the current national guidance and the local context. This will assist Event Organisers to incorporate mitigating and control measures into their event plans to help prevent the spread of infection.
Events that attract more than 250 people at any one time may need to be referred to the Health Protection Board (HPB); a multi-partnership Board that is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of Southampton’s Outbreak Control Plan. It is important for the HPB to have role in advising whether events should take place from a PSI of COVID-19 infection perspective and be able to assess any cumulative impact of multiple events taking place, as events could have an impact on the transmission of the virus within and outside the city.
It is recommended that you to read the COVID ESAG Event Checklist that the ESAG will be using to assess your risk assessment and event plans, to ensure your documentation includes all the relevant information required before submission.
If your application successfully passes through the ESAG, you will be sent confirmation from the Southampton City Council’s Event Management Team. It’s also important to note that at this time, all events are subject to cancellation without liability to the City Council and even when permission has been granted this could be revoked at any time, if necessary, which may include closing events that are already in progress.
How much does it cost?
The cost of holding an event or promotion in Southampton varies depending on the location, the duration and nature of the event. Costs can be discussed with you on your initial application.
Costs for a promotional site in the city centre or Guildhall Square vary, depending on the location, size and duration. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Charity / Fundraising Events
If you are organising a charitable collection as part of your event, you will need to apply for a Street Collection permit from the council's Licensing Team. Find out more about a Street Collection permit.
Do you need a Temporary Events Notice or Premises Licence?
Event Management can advise if you will require a Temporary Events Notice (TENs) or a Premises Licence for your event. A TENs - depends on the licensable activities (sale or supply of alcohol, regulated entertainment* and late night refreshment) at a small event (no more than 499 people at any one time) for a short period of time.
Find out more about TENs
A Premises Licence under the Licensing Act 2003 is required for any premises where any of the following take place: Sale of alcohol by retail / regulated entertainment* / the provision of hot food or hot drink between 23:00 and 05:00 on any day.
*Regulated entertainment is defined as:
- A performance of a play
- An exhibition of a film
- An indoor sporting event
- A boxing or wrestling entertainment
- A performance of live music
- Any playing of recorded music
- A performance of dance
- Anything similar to music or dancing
Find out more about a Premises Licence
Are you playing live or recorded music at your event?
Whether you’re staging music events or playing background music you’ll may need TheMusicLicence. By obtaining TheMusicLicence you’ll be able to play PRS for Music and PPL music legally and enjoy its benefits whilst ensuring that its creators are fairly rewarded for their work.
Find out more about TheMusicLicence
Do you need to apply for a Temporary Road Closure?
A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) is used to temporarily restrict the movement of traffic or impose waiting restrictions on the public highway. In order to allow sufficient time for the legal process to be completed, Balfour Beatty require a minimun of 8 weeks advanced notice to arrange a TTRO.
Contact Balfour Beatty via email SouthamptonTMA@balfourbeatty.com or telephone 023 8079 8030
Find out more about applying for a TTRO
Do you need a Child Performance Licence?
If any children under the age of 16 are performing at your event, it is your responsibility as the Event Organiser to apply for the appropriate Child Performance Licence.
Find out more about Child Performance Licence
Bouncy castles: safety advice
These simple precautions can help you avoid serious accidents, whether you supply bouncy castles and inflatables, or you are hiring one for your event.
Find out more from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website
Southampton City Council has recently introduced a Green City Charter which aims to create a cleaner, green, healthier and more sustainable city. In practical terms we are keen to ensure that the impact of your event on the environment is minimised. We want you to consider all elements of your event which help to achieve this goal. Consideration should be given to all aspects of your event including using alternatives to single use plastics; not permitting plastic straws or plastic bags, making use of re-usable or compostable cups, avoiding mixed material packaging, using re-usable bungee or Velcro straps rather than plastic cable ties, reusable water bottles, providing recycling facilities, using bio-diesel generators where possible, encouraging visitors to travel to the event via public transport, using local suppliers where possible.
Events and Festivals Grants
Southampton City Council offers grants to support event organisers to hold events and festivals across the city of Southampton. Grants of between £250 and £10,000 are available to support up to 75% of the costs of events and festivals that are accessible to the general public.
Who can apply?
- Non-for-profit organisations, including community groups, social enterprises, faith organisations, schools, PTAs and 'Friends of' groups
- For-profit businesses or sole traders (applications will be considered on a case by case basis)
- Priority will be given to residents and organisations/businesses based in the City of Southampton
Find out more about grants to support event organisers to hold events and festivals across the city of Southampton
More Grants for Events
Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants
This is an open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects. The fund supports thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations.
There are several key locations that are used for promotional activities or sampling. Please contact email@example.com for more information and availability.
Unfortunately due to the holding powers which govern the use of the city's parks Southampton City Council are unable to give permission for private events or private parties. Please view this web link re parks information and do's and don'ts regarding BBQs.
If you require further information on holding an event or promotion in Southampton, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Commercial services from Southampton City Council have reliable, professional services for event organisers in and around Southampton. They have extensive experience of delivering high quality services to residents in the city and can draw on that experience to deliver first-class services for your event including
Waste and recycling: incorporating provision of waste containers and waste disposal.
Cleansing: litter picking services and cleansing services during and after your event, jet washing and mechanical sweeping.
Digital advertising: Website and E-newsletters.
Find out more about Commercial Services: Lamp posts, lift doors.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - Guidance on running events safely
The HSE website will help organisers run events safely. Others may also find the website useful, eg contractors, health and safety advisers and workers at events. Good planning and organisation is essential to putting on an event that is both safe and enjoyable. For many events all that is required is to follow a basic series of steps.
HSE Guidance on running events safely
Venue and site design
Temporary demountable structures
Managing crowds safely
Using barriers at events
Falls from height
Amusements and attractions
Crowded Places Guidance
NaCTSO (National Counter Terrorism Security Office) is responsible for providing advice and guidance to government and industry to; protect crowded places throughout the UK from the terrorist threat, protect hazardous sites and prevent dangerous substances from being used for terrorist purposes, protect critical national infrastructure from terrorists.
The UK faces a real threat from terrorism and crowded places remain an attractive target. Crowded places include shopping centres, sports stadia, bars, pubs and clubs and event sites which are easily accessible to the public and attractive to terrorists.
A guidance has been written to help those charged with security at crowded places mitigate the threat and help make the UK less vulnerable to an attack. Click on the Major Events section