Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent by Darlington Borough Council - Street parties

Street parties

Your guide to organising a street party

Street parties are a great way for us to celebrate, get to know neighbours and meet members of our community.

This step by step guide tells you how to hold a street party, and sets out the sort of information we will need to know. 

What sort of events does this apply to?

This information is about street parties that groups of residents arrange for their neighbours. The main differences between a small street party and other public events are listed below:

Street parties

  • For residents/neighbours only
  • Publicity only to residents
  • In a quiet residential road
  • Organised by a resident
  • Normally no insurance
  • No formal risk assessment needed
  • No licences normally necessary
  • between 8am and 11pm

Other public events

  • Anyone can attend
  • External publicity (such as in newspapers)
  • In buildings, parks for example.
  • Event organiser  
  • Insurance needed
  • Written risk assessment normally required
  • Licence usually needed if audience is more than 500 people

The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, share jobs out amongst residents and let us know at least 4-6 weeks in advance by filling in our PESAG form. This enables us to record all the street parties that are taking place and includes specific questions around potential road closures. The form is available to print or to complete online.

Licensing and temporary event notice

If your street party does not exceed 499 people and you would like to sell alcohol you will need to get a Temporary Event Notice, at least ten working days before your event. If the party is for more that 499 persons you will need to apply for a full premise licence and should allow two months for an application to be processed. You do not need a licence for live music between 8am and 11pm, if your party is for under 500 people. If you require information or advice on Temporary Events Notices or licensing, please contact the licensing team on 01325 405888.

Food hygiene

If you or your neighbours are preparing food at your street party it is worth reading our guide to food hygiene for catering volunteers. There is also advice here about community BBQs [pdf document].

Street parties - the myths and the facts

Myth 1: You need an entertainment licence

You do not need an entertainment licence for recorded music, live music or dancing if your event is for less than 500 people. 

Myth 2: The law requires complex forms for a road closure and the Council needs to sign off every detail

For most small parties in quiet streets, all we need to know is where and when the closure will take place so we can plan around it (for example, so emergency services know). We will need a few weeks notice so, if necessary, we can put in place a traffic regulation order. You can fill in the necessary form here. If we need more information, we will contact you. Don’t forget you can organise your party in another space such as a garden, local park or driveway without filling in any council forms. You can call us on 01325 405888 for advice.

Myth 3: You need to buy expensive road signs to close a road

We have a limited number of signs and cones which we can lend to you, alternatively we can let you know where to get them.

Myth 4: You need expensive insurance

You do not usually need to have public liability insurance. If, when we have seen your plans, we think insurance would be a good idea we will let you know. Insurance can start at as little as £50 and the costs can always be split between residents, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the costs.

Myth 5: You need a food licence

Providing food for an event does not require registration. Only a food business needs to register with us (free of charge). If a mobile food trader is attending such as an ice cream van, the business should already be registered and have a valid street trading consent.