How to hold a street party

 

On this page you will find information on:

Street parties and small community events

If you want to hold a small, non-commercial street party or community event you do not need permission from the Council or any special insurance - but you do need our help to close a road, which we can do for you free of charge. Please read on for more guidance and helpful tips for holding a street party.

A small, non-commercial street party must meet the following criteria:

  • Fewer than 200 guests invited 
  • All guests are associated with the immediate vicinity 
  • No alcohol will be on sale (it is okay to serve alcohol free of charge) 
  • No formal entertainment (incidental entertainment such as music from a stereo is okay as long as you do not disturb others in the community) 
  • No tickets are sold for the event
  • No food or other merchandise will be on sale (but it is fine to bring food to share with your neighbours)
  • No temporary structures (e.g. stages or marquees - we're not too worried about a small pop-up gazebo or sunshade, but do make sure they won't blow away and cause injury to others)

Road closures

If you'd like to close your road to hold a street party or community event, please download, complete and return the road closure application form (Word) to Suresh Prajapati at suresh.prajapati@hackney.gov.uk and London Borough of Hackney, Health and Community Services, Streetscene (Traffic & Transportation), 1 Casterton Street, London, E8 1FB.

As long as your event meets all 7 of the criteria listed above you do not need to enclose any further information, nor do you need to comply with item 6 in the 'notes and conditions' relating to public liability insurance (please see below), although you may want to consider this, of which more below.

Please note that there is usually no problem obtaining permission to close quiet residential streets, but we are likely to refuse permission to close major routes (classed A and B roads), bus routes, or one-way streets where we think doing so will cause too much disruption to surrounding traffic or impede emergency vehicles. We may also refuse permission if there is another event taking place nearby.

Other things to think about

Neighbours

Hopefully your neighbours will help with the party, but please remember that road closures and noise may affect people living nearby. Be considerate and please consult your neighbours about your plans. You can start the party whenever you like during the day but please be considerate of everyone when you plan your start and finish time. It is worth remembering that not everyone will be able to participate so you need to let them know what times you are planning to start and finish the party and take their comments into consideration. You may want to finish by 9pm minimising noise.

Parking bays

You can apply to suspend parking bays in the street where you want to hold your party, but this can be expensive - it may be better just to ask the local residents (who will presumably all be invited) to park somewhere else within the parking zone for the day.

Public liability insurance

You are not required to have insurance if your event meets the 7 criteria listed above, but it is not very expensive (typically between £50 - £100 depending on the number of guests) and you may want to consider taking it out for your own peace of mind. Contact Event Assured or Events Insurance Services.

Food and food hygiene

If you are serving food here are some quick and easy tips to help you prepare your food safely:

  • Always store cooked foods above raw foods in the fridge to prevent drips and keep food in covered containers
  • Defrost frozen meat and chicken thoroughly before cooking
  • Pre-cook meats on the same day as they are to be eaten. This also applies to barbecues
  • Don't leave food in the kitchen or outside for too long before it's eaten. Warm temperatures in the summer will assist bacteria growth
  • Flies and insects can carry bacteria so always keep food covered
  • Use a separate kitchen towel or disposable paper towels - don't wipe hands on a tea towel
  • And most importantly - always wash your hands before handling food

For more advice and guidance please contact technicalbusinesssupport@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 4911 (Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm) or see our environmental health pages.

Cleaning up afterwards

All events generate rubbish, so you need to have provisions in place for refuse collection and street cleaning. It is your responsibility to make sure this happens. It is a good idea to organise how you will do this in advance - make sure you have plenty of bin bags and let people know where they can put rubbish, and organise a small team of neighbours to help you clear up at the end of your party.

Alternatively our waste services will be happy to quote for these provisions for any prospective event. Please ring 020 8356 6683 or email commercialwaste@hackney.gov.uk.

Advice and starter kits

For tips and free resources see The Big Lunch or Streets Alive, or contact our venues team on 020 8356 5211 or venues@hackney.gov.uk.

Large or commercial events

Please complete and submit the commercial or large street party application form below to venues@hackney.gov.uk if you want to organise an event which is:

  • being attended by more than 200 people
  • promoted/advertised beyond the immediate vicinity
  • selling alcohol 
  • features entertainment 
  • ticketed 
  • selling food or other merchandise 
  • features temporary structures (e.g. a stage or marquee)

 We will contact you to discuss the your event, and any licences or fees which may apply.

Events in a park or green spaces

Hackney parks are a valuable resource for the local community. They are primarily used for local sporting activities, relaxation, social gatherings, education, dog walking, horticultural pursuits and provide a natural habitat for wildlife.

Community groups qualify for special rates for events in Hackney's parks. To find out more, and obtain a handy template to take you through all stages of an event planning process, check out our parks events page.

Other Hackney venues

Search our community directory for Hackney venues that are suitable for community events. A number of Hackney's libraries also have halls for hire. 

Promoting your event 

See our What's On guide to find out what's on in your local community and promote your events on our website.

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