Outdoor Events - Parks & Open Spaces 2021

Date of Meeting:

19th November, 2021

Report of:

Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture 

Contact Officer:


Ian Shurrock, Ian Taylor, Daniel Watson 


07717 303344



Ward(s) affected:









1.1         To seek landlord’s consent for each of the proposed events in parks & open spaces in 2021. 


1.2         Members are reminded that they are considering each event individually rather than the programme as a whole.


2          RECOMMENDATIONS:          


2.1      That the committee grants landlord’s consent (subject to the execution of a formal agreement) for each of the proposed events listed in Appendix 1.    


2.2       That the committee authorise officers to enter into formal agreements with event organisers to determine conditions, fees and levels of support as appropriate.


2.3       That the committee authorises the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture, after consultation with the Chair of the committee and opposition spokespersons, to make any alterations to the events programme as necessary including approving new applications in accordance with the Outdoor Events Policy and cancelling events if required.





3.1      The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the Outdoor Events    

Industry in 2020. Research (undertaken by the Events Industry Forum) shows     that, since March, 99% of business activity nationally ceased with events not taking place.  A figure borne out in Brighton and Hove. With the lockdown commencing in March, many event organisers – and the considerable supply chain behind them – had generated very little income since the end of the events season in the Autumn of 2019.  Event organisers regularly plan nine months to a year in advance, so substantial investments had been made in preparation for the 2020 season.  The Charity and Community event sector has been similarly affected.  Charities have missed out on the millions of pounds raised by the endeavours of participants and communities unable to come together in celebration.


3.2      Whilst a few events did manage a limited re-start in late summer 2020, the need

     for social-distancing and Covid-safe systems meant events barely covered costs. 

     Many businesses have survived this period on a combination of loans,

     furloughing and redundancies.  The Council’s Discretionary Fund, partially

     targeted at Events and Creative Industries, was massively appreciated by

     numerous local individuals and companies reliant on the events Industry. 

     However, many are now fearful of what a fallow winter and a potential delayed

     start to the 2021 season may bring.


3.3      Many of the events listed in Appendix 1 have taken place before and retain their

traditional place in the annual calendar. The council has licensed a range of parks and open spaces including the Old Steine, Hove Lawns, the Seafront and Madeira Drive to hold events, however, a balanced approach is required to prevent overuse of these areas. Appendix 1 to this report shows the range of spaces and sites where events are proposed to take place. Several new or amended event applications for 2021 have been received and a summary of these is outlined in 3.5 below. The new events space at St Peters’ Square should be particularly heralded as a much-needed addition to our creative space stock. 


3.4     Outdoor events play a major role in the city as a leisure destination and therefore

contribute significantly to the economic impact that tourism brings to the city. The latest economic impact assessment  (pre covid) values the contribution of tourism to the city’s economy at £850m per year which supports 21,448 jobs (15,730 full time equivalents). The economic impact of events staged in the city is largely through associated hotel, leisure and retail spend.  


3.5      Some of the early season events, particularly mass-participation sports, are nervous of the effect Covid-19 may still be having on their ability to deliver and have requested dates later in the year.  In their view, this approach offers a strong chance of their event being able to take place. Events requesting changes of dates away from their usual slots and new events to the city are listed below.



Changes from Usual Time of the Year


Brighton and Hove Half Marathon     Usually February     Sun 27th June


Brighton Marathon Weekend             Usually April            Sat 11th/ Sun 12th








New requests


Brighton Beach Experience 


30th July – 1st August 12.00 – 23.00


The programme will showcase renowned music artists. As well as music, the diverse arts programming will include fashion, comedy, talks, sports and entertainments, food and fine dining activations and will showcase the latest innovations from the world of e-gaming.  Site capacity is a maximum of 2000 at any one time.


Deaf Festival    

Brunswick Square   

Saturday 28th August 10.00 – 18.00


A small community festival that brings deaf members of the community together with talks, music, entertainment and information stalls.


The Warren Comedy Season

St Peters’ Square   

1st – 31st October 14.00 – 23.00


Festival of International, National and local comedy.  Taking place in a purpose-

built, circa 500 capacity venue.





4.1     Not applicable.





 5.1     Consultation is taking place with Ward Councillors, Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service, NHS Trust, Environmental Health & Licensing, City Parks, Civil Contingencies, Sustainability and Highways. Detailed consultation will also follow as the events are developed between the respective event organiser and our partner agencies.


5.2       As this report is being considered well in advance of next year’s programme to assist organisers, it has not been possible to include consultation responses in the report.  A verbal update on the consultation responses will be given at the committee meeting.


6          CONCLUSION


6.1         Landlord’s consent is required for the staging of all major outdoor events on council land in Brighton and Hove.



6.2         Events have traditionally played a significant part in the council’s overall tourism strategy. As well as bringing substantial cultural and economic benefits to the city, people experience civic pride when major recreational, sporting and entertainment events take place in their locality.


6.3       The effect of Coronavirus has been devastating to the sector with the majority of events cancelled in the city in 2020. The council will work with events organisers to provide as comprehensive programme of events for 2021 as possible. 




Financial Implications:


 7.1     In accordance with the existing Outdoor Events policy, fees are charged for commercial events and any costs incurred are the responsibility of the organiser. In addition, a reinstatement deposit is usually held, and evidence of adequate insurance cover is required. The fees charged are determined by negotiation based on a number of factors including capacity, whether a new or established event, whether an admission fee is to be charged and infrastructure required; all of these are subject to agreement by officers as per the recommendations of this report.


7.2       The income generated from fees charged for commercial events in parks and open spaces, in a normal financial year, contribute to the costs of the Outdoor Events Team and enables charitable and community events and free public entertainments to be supported at reduced rates across the city.  As set out elsewhere in this report, it will also be financially beneficial for the local economy/events sector if events can plan to go ahead in 2021/22.



            Finance Officer Consulted:     Name Jess Laing                         Date: 23/10/2020


Legal Implications:


7.3       Brighton & Hove City Council is empowered under the East Sussex Act 1981 to close “parks and pleasure grounds” in its area for up to 28 days a year in order to facilitate the staging of major outdoor events. As the events are transient in nature it is unlikely that “development” involving the need for a planning application would arise but in any event permitted development rights may apply. Should any event require road closures or certain other traffic management measures a traffic regulation order under the provisions of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 or the Town Police Clauses Act 1847 will be required.


7.4       The proposals in this report are made in accordance with the Outdoor Events Policy.


7.5       The terms of the agreements with the event organisers will allow the Council to withdraw consent on public health grounds if the Council does not feel the event should go ahead. 



            Lawyer Consulted:                   Alice Rowland                               Date: 6/11/20


            Equalities Implications:


7.4      The Events Programme caters for people from all sectors of the community as there are a diverse range of events that are staged in the city each year. Issues such as physical access to an event and designated viewing areas are developed and detailed in event plans where applicable. Major event organisers will be required to complete an Equalities Impact Assessment, new for 2021.


            Sustainability Implications:


7.5      All events are planned and staged in accordance with the statutory powers and planning obligations as set out in the Outdoor Events Policy.


7.6         The nature of outdoor events means that they often involve a range of potential sustainability impacts (both positive and negative) from travel, energy and water use, food, local economic and social impacts, use of outdoor spaces and production of waste. Through the Sustainable Events Programme, event organisers are supported to improve sustainability at their events, focusing on the areas with the highest potential impact. The programme is certified to the international standard for environmental management ISO 14001.


7.7         The Sustainable Events Programme also meets the requirements of the British Standard for Sustainable Events that was developed for the London 2012 Games and helped them deliver a highly visible sustainability programme, particularly around event waste recycling and encouraging people to use public transport. The standard was superseded by the International Standard ISO 20121 and the council’s programme is being amended to meet the requirements of the new standard and help the council continually improve its engagement with event organisers to improve sustainability.


7.8         A new Environmental Impact assessment and Action Plan will be required to be completed by most event organisers.


Brexit Implications:


7.9         There are no identified implications.




8.0      Any Other Significant Implications:



            Crime & Disorder Implications:


8.1       Sussex Police are involved in both the consultation and planning of all major events.


            Risk and Opportunity Management Implications:



8.2     The City’s Safety Advisory Group has an overview of all the events that take place in Brighton and Hove that have the potential to attract significantly large numbers of people. A protocol and good working partnerships between the council and emergency services are in place in the city and close agency working will be integral to both the planning and delivery of these events.  Public health advisers are present at the Safety Advisory Group to input on COVID safe practices.


8.3     Event-specific Safety Advisory Groups can be convened for all major outdoor events taking place in Brighton and Hove.


            Public Health Implications:


8.4     The diverse range of events has the potential to contribute positively to the health and well-being of the participants. This includes the direct benefits of taking part in physical activity events such as those for running, walking and cycling. Furthermore, events can contribute to a sense of community, local pride and cultural identity which can have a positive impact on the well-being of those involved. However, events will need to meet covid safe requirements in accordance with national guidelines.










1.            List of proposed outdoor events in parks and open spaces for 2021



Documents in Members’ Rooms


1.         None



Background Documents



1.        None