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Hold an event in a park or open space

We welcome applications to hold events in our parks and open spaces. Our dedicated Events Service is here to help guide you through the process and to offer you support along the way. If you are new to organising events or would just like to talk through your ideas, please get in touch with the Events Service.

Guide contents

What is an event and who can apply

To ensure this is the right application process for you, we need to know if your proposal constitutes 'an event'. This will be defined as:

  • A gathering of 50 or more persons, or
  • Where infrastructure is brought to site (except the use of a gazebo to provide shade/shelter- if safely erected without causing ground damage), or
  • Where activities are proposed which may constitute an event e.g. music, catering, or co-ordinated activities.

We consider event applications for events in our parks and open spaces, including the use of the Thames Towpath, in line with our Events policy (pdf, 132 KB).

As such, our parks and open spaces are not available for:

  • Private hire or corporate events, for example weddings, private parties, business awaydays, conferences, gala dinners, award ceremonies. All events must be accessible to the public, either free of charge or with a ticket
  • Promotional/marketing events, for example, promotions, product launches and brand activations, road shows or media events.

The following events/activities fall outside of this process:

  • Sole traders- ice cream or catering units that are stand-alone, email for further information
  • Walks talks and gatherings which may be managed at a community level (less than 50 people, no infrastructure or vehicles, non-chargeable, community-focused and run by community or friends' groups, or local charities) email for further information
  • Fitness or small group activities including fitness training, educational and other small group activities, which do not otherwise constitute an event will need to apply to hold an activity
  • Use of Sports Pitches and Grounds including for school sports days. 
  • To apply for the use of council land that is not managed by Parks and Open Spaces, you will need to contact the relevant department directly:

Application stages

Summary of event application stages flowchart (pdf, 592 KB)

New events, or repeat events where there are significant changes, will be subject to a consultation process involving local councillors and representatives of the local community. Should we agree to process an application at short notice and consultation is required, the process will be terminated if formal objections are raised.

Make an initial enquiry

If you are at the 'ideas' stage or are wondering what might be possible, please contact Events Service.

We will need to check that your proposal is viable before asking you to make a formal application. For example, we need to be sure that:

  • You are applying through the correct process
  • The land you want to use is managed by Parks and Open Spaces
  • Your dates do not clash with something
  • Your proposal is in line with our Events policy (pdf, 132 KB)

To facilitate this, please email the Events Service the following information:

  1. A few sentences to introduce yourself/your company and your experience in delivering similar events
  2. A site map showing proposed site layout and location (and route map where applicable)
  3. An overview of proposed activities that will be taking place at the event
  4. A summary of any proposed infrastructure to be brought to site (for example, 2 marquees, 20 gazebos, 5 toilets, 1 stage)
  5. Event dates and times including both the construction and open phases (must include arrival/open/close/offsite dates and opening times)
  6. Anticipated attendance: maximum expected per day (DAILY) and maximum expected at any one time (PEAK)

It is also important that you understand how the process works and what level of information will be required from you prior to stating an application.

Before you apply

Site selection

You should visit the proposed site and consider the requirements of the event in terms of site layout and topography, access for vehicles/pedestrians and facilities available. Use the correct name for the site you wish to hire.

Application deadlines

Is your proposal achievable within our deadlines? The completed application form and supporting documentation (including site plan, risk assessment and insurance documentation) must be submitted as follows:

Scale of event (daily attendance) Application deadline (prior to event period)
Small (up to 499 people) 10 weeks
Medium (500 to 4,999 people) 10 weeks 
Large (5,000 to 9,999 people) 26 weeks
Major (10,000 plus daily attendance) 26 weeks
Complex 26 weeks

Fees and charges

Read our fees and charges document for 2024/25 which explains how the fees and charges are applied. The fees applicable to your specific event will be confirmed upon acceptance of your application.

Required information

When you start your application, you will need to provide the following:

  1. 'Applicant' details and experience (if you are new to organising events in the borough referee contact details will be required).
  2. The event name, site (including site/route map as applicable), anticipated attendance, dates, and timings.
  3. Details of the planned activities taking place, for example, will there be live or recorded music, catering, stalls, animal shows, fireworks, rides, or inflatables (you should include details of all possible activities so that they can be considered – if you later cancel some, you can let us know).
  4. Details of the infrastructure to be brought to site (again, it is better to tell us everything that might be present so it can be considered).The level of infrastructure should be consistent with your site plan.
  5. Supplementary information to support your application. A site/route map must be provided at the time of application. Other information can either be included at the time of application or emailed to the events service later (but within the required application deadlines):
    • Maps and plans – to show location of the event within the site and major infrastructure
    • Health and safety – agreement that the applicant is solely responsible for ensuring the safe delivery the event
    • Supplier management – details of your supplier management plans, and the supplier checks you will be conducting.
    • Vehicle management – details of arrangements, restrictions, expected vehicle numbers and consideration of ground protection.
    • Security and crowd management – details of management arrangements, security/stewarding provision.
    • Information and welfare – agreement that the appropriate arrangements are in place regarding information sharing and ensuring the welfare of attendees.
    • Environment – assurances regarding minimising disruption and adequate provision of sanitary/waste facilities. A noise management plan is required where applicable (music, amplification, or potential for noise disturbance). Event sustainability must be considered.
    • Emergency planning – details of your emergency plans including communications, medical, fire protection and procedures for lost persons/fire/evacuation.
    • Risk assessment – must be conducted to identify potential risks and ensure appropriate measures are in place to minimise the risks. A copy of your risk assessment must be provided.
    • Insurance – proof of event public liability insurance (£10 million in accordance with the Terms and Conditions) must be provided.

Our example responses (pdf, 493 KB) will give you and an indication of the type and level of information that is required. Please also see application guidance (pdf, 479 KB) for further considerations and guidance.

Supporting documents

Make your application

Apply using our online application form.

For all new events, or repeat events where there are significant changes, you must send an initial enquiry email to check if the proposal is viable before making an application.

Where applicable, the applicant will be required to confirm that they are authorised to apply on the organisation's behalf.

Start application


Events Service, Parks & Open Spaces, LBRuT, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ

Phone: 07482 422305

Updated: 17 June 2024

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