Licensing - organising public events

Whether you are organising a craft fair, a sports event or a music festival, it is important to make sure your event is safe and legal. We can help you achieve this and make the process of organising an event easier.

From checking which licence you need, to whether you need a roads order, the guidance on this page will give you a framework for planning your event in a structured way.

By inviting the public to your event, you have legal responsibilities to make sure that it doesn't cause danger or serious harm. With careful planning and by seeking advice, you can minimise these risks.

View the general event guidance (PDF 286KB).

Find out how we can help with organising your event:

Where the event is held

Every event is different and depending on where you are holding yours, you might need to contact other teams within the council for the relevant guidance and to organise your event. Any delay in contact could jeopardise your event.

Events at buildings such as public halls, town halls or schools

The guidance on this page does not cover events which take place in buildings such as public halls, town halls or schools. Such events are subject to separate procedures. Contact for further information.

Events at other council buildings

If your event is being held at council premises, please contact the council service responsible for the venue as early as possible to discuss your plans.

Events on council grounds

If you are planning an event on council grounds for example a local park, please email our Landscape Services team as early as possible to discuss your plans.

Events on public roads

If your event is being held on or can affect a public road, view the events on the public roads guidance (PDF 496KB). This will assist you with the permissions that you may need and the processes that you must follow. 

Check if you need a public entertainment licence

You might need a public entertainment licence for your event. Your first step when organising an event should be finding out if a licence is required: 

If you do need a licence, please apply for a public entertainment licence as soon as possible to let us know. We suggest contacting us at least 6 months before your event. You should obtain written permission from the landowner or occupier before you proceed.

Safety plan

You will need to prepare a safety plan for the event. We advise that a risk assessment should be done for every event and this can be included in the event safety plan. Find out more about:

To prepare the event safety plan please use the template (available in two formats):

Please email the completed safety plan to as early as possible and this will be shared with Police Scotland and other agencies. This will save you from having to contact other agencies individually.

If you are organising a large or potentially high-risk event it is best to make contact at least 12 months in advance to give us and other agencies enough time to look at your plan in detail.

Once the plan has been reviewed, we will advise you of any additional details that are required, and whether a multi-agency Safety Advisory Group needs to discuss your application.