Important Note

The suppliers listed here are included as those who have been able to supply a satisfactory service in the past. They are listed only as a guide, and this list is not exhaustive

No-one listed here has paid or in any way offered any inducement to be included.

Inclusion does not constitute a recommendation that any particular supplier is fit for purpose.

No responsibility can be accepted by the publishers of this document for anything whatsoever arising from its use

The click links will take you to the appropriate contacts or further information page [LINK]

Outdoor Events

The Weather

One thing we cannot help you with is the weather! This will play a big part in the success of your outdoor event. The vast majority of outdoor events take place in May, June and July. Even though these are supposed to be the summer months, we cannot guarantee that the
weather will be fine and dry. Therefore, you should plan for all kinds of weather, keep an eye on the forecasts and be prepared for change. On the day of the event, it is
recommended that you use a PA system to keep people informed.

If it is likely to be hot and sunny, there should be a good supply of water available to visitors and plenty of shade from the sun. If wind and rain are forecast, the ground could become slippery or inaccessible and certain temporary structures may need to be secured or removed.
Ground conditions can vary a great deal from day-to-day and site-to-site. Event organisers will need to be aware of any steep slopes or undulations in the ground as well as wet or slippery surfaces. It may be necessary to divert
the public around certain hazards in the ground. The best way to assess this is to hold a site meeting and walk-the-course.
We suggest that you devise a Wet Weather Contingency Plan should your event be at risk.


Where specifying the size and location of marquees, the following needs to be considered:

1) Do you need extras that the marquee company can supply, such as floor coverings, decorative lights, power sockets, heating, stages, dance floors, fire extingushers, exit boxes, security lights, tables and chairs?

2) Do you need extras supplied by others such as stage lighting, PA systems, bars, security services?

2) When can the tent be rigged and de-rigged? When can anxilliary equipment such as stage lighting, sound systems, etc be put into it? When will it be available for occupation by the final users, stallholders, etc.,?

3) Does the tent need overnight security? Do they need to be approved Security Industries Association accredited? Can they supply their own radio communicators ? Or can they be someone untrained who simply sleeps overnight in the marquee? The Owners or managers of the site and your own insurers will advise.

4) Is the tent and its contents fully insured against loss? If not are you prepared to take extra precautions?

5) Is the chosen location on flat ground? Is there a risk of ingress of water or flooding? Is the area particularly prone to strong winds? Have you considered orientation of any doors and openings.

6) Is the Marquee properly secured against wind and collapse? Are there any restictions on how the tent is secured to the ground. In Colchester Castle Park for example, you will not be permitted to use stakes longer than about six inches to avoid damaging any archeology underneath. You can consider using weights such as water bottles, sandbags etc.

7) is there a suitable electricity and water supply to hand? If not will you supply a generator? Consider the size needed, siting,the type of fuel and noise considerations.

8) If you need a smaller marquee, consider the use of Gazebos, and especially popup gazebos which come in sizes of 3m x 3m or 3m x 6m. There is also the Coleman Evet Tent, which is very useful as a central control, info point or first aid point.These are 4.5 m square.


Where you propose to charge for entry, you may need fencing for securing the perimeter of the site. If the risk of breach of security is perceived to be realtively low,or they are there primarily for public safety, you can use the Heras type. These link together and are held up by heavy bases. Wheere runs longer than about 15 meters,you may need to create additional support with a jog or v-shape, or even put in braces as extra support. gates can be created wherever required.

Similar fencing will also be needed if you are creating a secure area for storage including bar and catering stocks, or as an access-only area for artistes behind a stage. They may also be used to protect generators and other objects where you wish to exclude people.

Where a barrier is needed between a stage and the audience and the risk of audience storming the stahe is low, lower ( 1200mm high) clip-iogether self contained steel barriers can be employed. Where the press of a crowd is expected to be great, then proper security barriers must be used. These can be of the inverted-tee type where the weight of the audience prevents their being tipped, or thay can be of a more complex design incorporating raised sections for security personnel to stand.


Where the chosen site is seriously muddy, or there is a risk that they might become so, you mught want to install trackway for pedestrians or vehicles.


Even if the event takes place in broad daylight you mught want to consider site lighting. This is useful in emergencies, where events beyond your control take you later into the day that you might have wished, but mostly so you dont have to pack up and clear a sea of rubbish in the dark.This can be trailer-mounted mast lighting with built in generators, or simple halogen or discharge floodlights.

Ropelight is useful for marking out paths . It comes in 45 metre rolls, and cannot normally be hired. Other fairy-type light strings are useful for marking obstructions such as trees. Choose an outdoor rated, preferably low voltage, LED or filament type. Again these cannot normally be hired. See the electrics page for advice on the use of electricity outdoors.


Communications between members of the event teram is essential. There are sevearl ways: you need them all

1) Radio communication

2) Mobile Phones, voice and text

3) Runners

4) Emails and tweets.


It is essential that you provide a LOT of rubbish collecting points. You will be amazed at the mess left behind. For a music festival with say 10,000 people, you will need a skip and three recycling centres, three people doing a continuous loop clean up with balck bags. Make sure you have litterpicker sticks, bending down is backbreaking after a while.


Wherever you do an event it will need to be licenced under the Licensing Act 2003. Even if you dont propose to sell alcohol, you will still need a licence. There are some exeptions, such as entertainments held in a church, but I stongly suggest that you contact your local licensing team at the Local Authority for guidance.

Click here for more information about applying for a license

Other Licenses which may be needed:

Leaflets: It is not premitted to distribute leaflets in the streets in Colchester. Other areas may vary but you will need to get permission. Click here for details


Banners and posters in public places need permission. If you are caught fly-posting you are likely to receive a £75 fixed penalty notice. If prosecuted this can rise to £2500 if convicted. For more involved cases where several posters/advertisements are used local authorities can seek to prosecute the perpetrator and any beneficiary detected.There is no formal definition of fly-posting. However, it is generally taken to be the display of advertising material on buildings and street furniture without the consent of the owner.

There is a useful document on advertising consent which gives much information.

Noise Regulations are the responsibility of the Environmental Health department at the local authority as are the Food Hygiene Regulations

The Supply of Food is covered by

Regulation (EC) 852/2004 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs
The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006

Music licences: See Music licences page

Road Closures

You will need to apply for road closures from the Highways Department of the County Council, the Unitary Authority or the local council, this varies from area to area. In most of Essex it is the County Council.

Indoor Events

An indoor event in this context is anything that is held in a perment premises. This can be a theatre, a concert hall, a pub or club, a restaurant, an arts gallery o school or any similar place.



This is not the place to go into detail about lighting or sound or the techniques of Stage Management: There are loads or resources on the web. Here are a couple of good places to start

If technical equipment such as lighting and sound in place already, there will possibly be an operator available, or someone who will show you how it all works. There might be a charge for an operator, or you might be able to supply your own. If equipment is not available, then you can hire it.

Click here to go to a list of local and National equipment hire companies


Wherever you do an event it will need to be licenced under the Licensing Act 2003. Even if you dont propose to sell alcohol, you will still need a licence. There are some exeptions, such as entertainments held in a church, but I stongly suggest that you contact your local licensing team at the Local Authority for guidance.

If you want to sell alcohol you will most definitely need a licence. You or a member of your staff will need to hold personal licence, so that every sale or supply of alcohol is authorised. You must be 18 years or older amd hold a licensing qualification, such as the National Certificate for Personal License Holders (NCPLH) Level 2. Apply to the LIcencing Team at youtr Local Authority. Once granted, it is valid for ten years.

Many venues have their own alcohol licence, and catering operation, and under these circumstances it is normal for the venue to operate this themselves and keep all the profits themselves, although this is reflected in the fees, if any, that they will charge you.

Many venues will already have a entertainments licence, but you will need to check this and see the certificate if in doubt. If it is not licenced, then you can either apply for a Premises Licence or a Temporary Events Notice ( TEN) . Briefly, the Premises licence allows a large number of regulated events, the Temporary Event Notice allows you a limited number over a year. Again, for info,the first port of call is the Local Team.

If you want to serve hot food and drink after 11.00 pm, you will need a licence for that too.