Many larger outdoor events involving licensable activities will require a full premises licence for a short discrete period, due to the limitations involved with the lighter touch temporary event notice (TEN) provisions of the Licensing Act 2003. Such events would normally include street fairs, carnivals, circuses, outdoor music festivals, family fun days, community parties, agricultural shows, firework displays etc where more than 499 persons are expected to attend the event (including staff and performers) at any one time.
The district Safety Advisory Group (joint for Babergh and Mid Suffolk) may offer organisers the opportunity to have their event proposals reviewed holistically by a team of experienced multi-agency professionals, including the blue-light services and Local Authority. This may provide event organisers with helpful 'one-stop' access and networking for the many aspects of running a safe event. The SAG process should helpfully begin before any required licence application is made, although your activities need not require a licence for the SAG to meet. Events that take place over more than one district or borough area may be subject to the full County equivalent - the Suffolk Event Safety Advisory Group (SESAG) or else local SAGs may join-up for that particular event.
The SAG includes representatives of the Police, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Highways Authority, Emergency Planning and Local Authority (comprising Licensing, Environmental Protection, Health and Safety, Building Control and Food Safety).
Please remember that the Licensing Authority requires up to two months under the licensing laws to process a premises licence application. You should therefore ensure that you organise and submit any required application well in advance of an event, and make allowance for any SAG discussions to take place. If your event involves the supply of alcohol, then you will need to nominate a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) within your premises licence application. This individual must give their written consent and hold a personal licence to sell alcohol by the time your event begins.
Some event organisers also pro-actively advise and consult local residents, elected members and the parish/town council directly on their event proposals (although anything beyond the minimum advertising requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 is not obligatory).
The district SAG is co-ordinated by the Licensing Team for Babergh and Mid Suffolk. Contact the Licensing Team for more information or to propose an event for consideration. All event organisers are strongly encouraged to conduct their own safety risk assessments and draw up their event management plan proposals before meeting with the SAG. The resources linked below should assist event organisers with this preparation.