Safety information for event organisers

There are lots of things to consider and be aware of when a public event is planned.

The following information is provided to help you if you want to hold a public event safely - including events held in Stadia or Sports grounds.  Events to be held in Stadia or Sports grounds have additional specific requirements.

Whatever the size of the event, the safety of the public during the event is the responsibility of the organiser and they are therefore accountable in law.

Organisers should also try to minimise the impact of the event on the environment. Common negative environmental impacts include pollution from vehicles, noise, sewerage and other waste generation.

It is recommended that event organisers plan well for the event and that they refer to the guidance on running an event safely which can be found on the Health and Safety Executive's portal and in the Good Practice safety guide for small and sporting events taking place on the highway, roads and public places

Please also refer to the following:

(Any outdoor event being held in the Lake District can affect the local biodiversity of both animal and plant species which is unique to the region, especially the waterways. We therefore ask that organisers allow for the Cumbria Freshwater Invasive Non-Native Species (CFINNS) Initiative.)


What you are expected to do as an event organiser


Get agreement from the landowner before the event and consult with the Parish Council for their views

The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is made up of representatives from the County Council, the emergency services and other relevant bodies and they need to know what is being planned.

The SAG is purely advisory and is co-ordinated by the County Council who provide a single point of contact (SPOC) to the members of the SAG at event.notification@cumbria.gov.uk

The following statutory licences/orders/certificates may be required for the event:

  • Will the highway or rights of way be affected? - Refer to the Cumbria Highway event planning guidance (WORD 516KB).
  • Communications - If you are providing radio cover/usage during an event in the county, you should remember that there are rules and regulations, enforced by OFCOM, regarding the issue of licenses to cover their usage.  The event organiser/communication provider must provide a Method Statement and have documentation from OFCOM referring to the necessary licences and Notice of Variation (NoV) if applicable. Without such cover, public liability insurance would be void and the communication setup illegal.  In Cumbria, the preferred method is through Cumbria Raynet 
  • Use of drones
  • Fairground rides
  • Sale and consumption of alcohol - Check with the District Council 
  • Food sale - food safety laws will need to be complied with. Check with the District Council.
  • The sale of food or goods on the highway may need street trading consent. Check with the District Council.
  • Noise (music) - check with the District Council

Please use the SAG 1 form (WORD 68KB) to advise the single point of contact (SPOC) of the following:

  • What you are planning to do, together with the event layout plan
  • What you consider to be the overall risk score that your proposed event represents
  • About you, your organisation and its competence (or how the competence will be provided)
  • The management of health, safety and welfare during the event and provide its Emergency Plan (to protect life and limb)
  • How the impact on the environment from the event will be minimised
  • Confirmation that you have applied for any statutory licences/orders/certificates that may be required

(For files or documents larger than 4MB, please zip/compress or send as separate emails)

When the form has been received, confirmation that it has been received will be sent to you and:

  • Will advise of any comments received from the SAG members
  • Dependent upon the overall risk score recorded on the SAG 1 form, may lead to you being asked to attend a meeting with the SAG members in order to further clarify some issues.

Just before and during the event, site visits may be made by SAG members.

It is recommended that this is set to £5 million minimum.

It is important that the organiser contacts the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) at a very early stage in the planning for an event, with a minimum of 4 months' notice for the simplest events and 9 months for larger events.

The County Council work in partnership with GoLakes to provide a centralised events calendar.