Find out how to organise your own street party or jubilee beacons event.

The following guidance from North Norfolk Safety Advisory Group (SAG) gives useful advice on organising events.

Events that this guidance applies to

Whilst there are endless fantastic possibilities for the type of event your local community may like to put on, this guidance focuses on street parties and jubilee beacons.  

The difference between a street party and other public events

Street parties Other public events

For the local community and neighbours

Anyone can attend

Advertised locally in village newsletter or community Facebook page

Advertised externally in newspaper or open Facebook page

On a quiet residential street or in a community building

In parks or large buildings


Professionally organised

Insurance requirement unlikely

Insurance required

Licence requirement unlikely

Licence required

SAG involvement unlikely

SAG involvement

Planning your street party

Contact your parish council

Contact your local parish council to see what events are proposed in the village, talk through your ideas and how they may link together.

Arrange a meeting

Invite the whole street to an initial meeting, ideally in the location where the event is proposed. This will make it more welcoming and may give a greater indication of what is achievable. Or you could meet at different houses or a local community building - especially if they sell or provide cake!

Collect contact details

Set up a working group and collect the organisers' contact details to make it easier to keep everyone updated. Don't forget to make sure that people are happy to have their details shared within a group message or email. 

Share out roles

Make sure you keep meetings informal and share out activities and jobs – try not to let anyone dominate. Those who regularly organise community events may easily fall into this role, but it is a good opportunity to let others get involved.

Choose a person to make notes of who is doing what, and someone to send invitations to all houses. A face-to-face invitation by door-knocking may engage residents. Alternatively, if you feel this may intimidate certain neighbours, pop paper invitations through doors instead. The pandemic has seen the growth of Community Facebook sites which is also a great way to advertise local events.

Involve everyone!

Give everyone a chance to be involved, particularly children, teenagers, the elderly and the vulnerable. This is a great way to get different ideas and provides an excellent opportunity to bring communities together. Try and cater for all tastes to ensure inclusivity.

Contact local shops, pubs, businesses and schools who may be able to contribute something to your event.

Consider the impact

Consider the impact of your event on those living nearby (for example, vulnerable people or those with livestock), especially if they are not joining the celebrations. Make sure they know the event details, including times when any potentially noisy activities will occur.

Community memories

Gather photos about the history of the street or area to display. Older neighbours may have some great memories that could be captured or displayed and promote conversations on the day. Make sure to involve local young people too, who may be interested in the history of where they live.

Get safety advice

Contact your local fire service and police service with details of your event and ask for advice. The fire service may be able to come along for some community engagement, an excellent crowd-pleaser for young children.

Prepare for bad weather

To safeguard against bad weather conditions, have a back-up plan in place. For example, is there a village hall nearby to hold the party instead? Is the hall available on the day?

See if residents have marquees or pop-up shelters to use. Inspect them to make sure they are in good working order before the event.

Add your event to the platinum jubilee Norfolk website

Don't forget to add your event to the platinum jubilee Norfolk website. From early April, the site will become a hub of information on all the events around Norfolk. 

Planning a Jubilee beacons event

The Queen's jubilee beacons website provides information about lighting your own beacon. 

Following advice from Norfolk Fire and Rescue and Norfolk Constabulary, we ask that you consider the following:

Type of beacon

Hopefully, on 2 June, most fields, crops, grasslands, and trees will still be green. However, if we experience a long dry spell, secondary fires could be a risk. These are caused by airborne embers from the brazier and the bonfire style beacons. The safest beacon to use to avoid secondary fires is the LPG beacon.

Please have appropriate measures in place to control risks:

  • fire extinguishers
  • hose pipe
  • beaters
  • buckets of water 

Beacon location

If you plan to put the beacon on highway land, then any digging or excavation works will need to be discussed with NCC highways. This is important to avoid damage to utility infrastructure or injury to those carrying out the works. 

You must consider if the beacon's location or any crowd gatherings would cause an obstruction or visibility issues.

Inform the SAG

Please let the SAG know the following information as soon as possible:

  • the location and address of where the beacon lighting is due to take place
  • the type of beacon
  • if it is a private or public event
  • if any VIPs have been invited. If so, please provide details
  • expected number of attendees
  • details of any proposed licensable activity

Myths and facts about organising an event

Myth 1: It's too difficult and confusing

You can find helpful tips, advice, and support for organising a successful event at the street party site.  

Contact your local parish council or local authority – we are here to help and have lots of experienced staff and networks that may be useful.

You should not need a risk assessment for a street party. As long as you have considered the needs of all those attending, common-sense precautions should be enough. Contact the SAG for advice.

Myth 2: You need a licence

The Licensing Act 2003 does not require you to have a licence for a street party unless amplified music is one of the main purposes of the event.

If you plan to sell alcohol, you will require a temporary event notice (TEN). A TEN provides temporary permission for licensable activities. It currently costs £21 and covers events of less than 500 people. 

Myth 3: The law requires complex forms for a road closure, and councils need to sign off every detail 

For most small parties in quiet streets, Norfolk County Council just needs to know where and when the closure will take place. They can then plan around it (for example, let emergency services know). They will need a few weeks' advance notice as they need to put a traffic regulation order in place. If they need more information, they will contact the organisers directly. 

Alternatively, you can organise a gathering or street meet on private land, such as a driveway or front garden, without needing to fill in any forms. Residents should speak to the county council about their plans.

Myth 4: The application for a road closure is expensive 

Norfolk County Council have set the fee for a Queen's jubilee event on the highway at £22.

Myth 5: It's too late to ask for a road closure

Some councils have set deadlines to help them manage their work, but there are no deadlines in law. Get in touch with NCC highways to see what is possible for you both.  

Myth 6: You need to buy expensive road signs

You can hire or buy signs or even print your own from downloadable templates if they are for use in daylight. The street party site gives advice about this.

Myth 7: You need expensive insurance

With beacon or bonfire events, you will need specialist public liability insurance cover, whether holding an event on your premises or someone else's. If you hire a park or venue or use land owned by a third party, they will likely require you to have your own suitable insurance. This will be to cover your liability for any injury to the public or damage to other people's land or property.

If you are hiring equipment for the event, you may need to insure these items. You may also want cover for any loss of money if the event has to be cancelled for reasons beyond your control.

There is no requirement from central government to have public liability insurance for a street party. 

Myth 8: You need a food licence

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed that one-off events such as street parties are not usually considered food businesses. Therefore, there are no forms to fill in. However, you must ensure that any food provided is safe to eat. NHS choices has practical tips on how to prepare and cook food safely.

Myth 9: You need permission for a tombola or raffle

If the tombola or raffle tickets are sold on the day, and the prizes are not worth more than £500 in total, then the event will be exempt from gambling regulations. Proceeds from the tombola or raffle must go to a good cause. This could be a charity or to cover the cost of your party. Please speak to the Licensing team for further information.