This Guide is only about organising a simple street party in 1 or 2 quiet streets without outside publicity, not about public events.

A street party is a good way to celebrate a national event and to get to know your neighbours. You can meet in your street without any traffic and gives children the chance to play outside. Having the party right outside your homes means that most people join in.

Top tips

  • Plan in advance
  • Keep it simple
  • Involve everyone
  • Agree on timings
  • Put up signs
  • Clear up afterwards
  • Be aware of noise for those who are not joining in

When to hold the party

Sundays are generally a good day as fewer people work and it is more of a family day.

Planning and meetings

  • Start planning 4 to 6 months in advance.
  • Start by chatting with some neighbours that you know.
  • Agree on a date early on.
  • Hold planning meetings in the street so more people will come.
  • Share out the jobs such as taking notes and writing invitations to all houses.
  • Think about any Covid safety measures you might need to take.

Involve everyone

  • Consultation with local residents and businesses is key.
  • You could invite people face to face but you may also need to send round paper invitations.
  • Street Parties are private events, so you don't need to advertise them.
  • Most neighbours will want to take part but encourage this by planning for all tastes.
  • Some people may feel wary so encourage them by being friendly and open with your planning.
  • Respect those who do not want to attend.

Ideas for activities

  • Cake competitions are often very popular!
  • Celebrate the birthday of the oldest person
  • Best decorated wheelie bin or front door
  • Lawn, giant or old fashioned games
  • Dancing
  • Old photos or history of the street
  • Share a meal - remember to cater for different diets where possible

Road closures

You will need to apply at least 3 months in advance to close your road.

There is no charge for this, but you may need public liability insurance. We'll ask the Highways Team, police, fire and ambulance services about traffic issues. You must leave room for a fire engine or ambulance which may need to come down your street at any time.

Send a notice/letter to all residents affected by the road closure to make them aware of your plans. This is important if there are residents who have carers or nurses visiting them on the day.

If you can’t or don’t want to close your road, try a ‘street meet’ on pavement, driveway, garden or park.

You will need 'road closed' signs. Discuss what road signage you need with us to make sure it's correct. We don't have signs that you can borrow but you can hire them from organisations like SWISCo. 

If you want to close a main highway you will need a traffic management plan and a local highways contractor.

Safety and insurance

It is the organiser’s responsibility to prevent accidents from happening. Agree that everyone should take responsibility and watch out for each other.

Think about the planned activities and any hazards and risks (electricity, accidents or burns ) and take steps to reduce them. Draft a site plan which shows emergency access points. You will need to complete a risk assessment when you apply to close the road. You can download the risk assessment template to help you.

Street Party Risk Assessment
Complete a risk assessment for your street party.

You will need public liability insurance if you plan to close the road. If you aren't closing the road you still might want to have insurance in case something goes wrong. You will need to complete risk assessments when you apply to close the road. You can download the risk assessment template to help you.

Bouncy castles need supervision at all times and it can be difficult to get insurance for them. Serious injury can happen so think carefully about having a bouncy castle.

COVID-19

You will need to think about COVID-19 when planning your street party. Make sure that your plans fit within the current government guidelines and regulations. COVID-19 plans should be in your risk assessment.

Bunting

You don't normally need permission to hang bunting as long as vehicles can access the street and you are not restricting visibility. You will need permission if you are hanging bunting on the main highway.

Make sure you are safe when you put up and remove bunting especially if you are using ladders.

Food and drink

If you bring your own food and drink (alcohol) you do not need a licence for your street party. You should display allergen information for all food and drinks (this could be as simple as keeping all the packaging to hand) and make sure it is safe to eat.

If you are planning to sell alcohol at the party you will need to apply for a temporary events notice.

You can serve and sell food up to 11pm without a licence.

If you want to sell food, goods or materials at the event, you will need to apply for a street trading licence.

Music

If your street party is private for residents only then you can't advertise it in advance to attract people to attend. If you were to advertise then it would no longer be classed as a street party and you would need to apply for a temporary events notice and follow the full event process.

Raffles and tombolas

If you sell tombola and/or raffle tickets on the day and the prizes are not worth more than £500 in total you don't need a licence. If you sell tickets in advance you will need to contact our Licensing Team. The Gambling Commission can give you advice on how to run lotteries or raffles at events.

After the street party

It is a good idea to let people know in advance what time the party will finish. Please clean up after your street party and have some time set aside for this.