Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee

Agenda Item 40

Subject:                    Outdoor Events Programme – Parks & Open Spaces 2023


Date of meeting:    3rd November 2022


Report of:                 Executive Director Economy, Environment and Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Ian Baird

                                    Tel: 01273 292711



Ward(s) affected:   All


For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         To seek landlord’s consent for each of the proposed events in parks & open spaces in 2023. 


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 agrees to move the approval process for the programme to a 6-monthly process allowing additional time for due diligence in event planning.


2.4         That the committee authorises the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture, after consultation with the Chair of the committee and opposition spokespersons, to make any significant alterations to the events programme as necessary including approving new applications in accordance with the Outdoor Events Strategy 2019-2024 and cancelling events if required.


3.            Context and background information


3.1      The financial impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic has continued to have a significant effect on the Outdoor Events Industry throughout 2022, with a handful of events still failing to open their gates despite receiving landlords consent. Attendance at events, and the resulting ‘on the day’ spend from customers is anecdotally down from ticket sales by between 15 and 20% across the board with mass participation and sporting events seeing the most significant downward pressure.


3.2      Outdoor events made a full return to Brighton & Hove in the summer of 2022, with an almost full programme. The enduring supply chain difficulties, massive increases in logistical costs and the now growing cost of living crisis have all added significant increases in event costs and produced tangible downward pressure on sales and per head spend across the year.


3.3      Outdoor events support the reputation of the city as a leisure destination and contribute significantly to the economic impact of tourism. The Visitor Economy Strategy 2018-2023 highlights the economic contribution of tourism to the city’s economy at £886m per year which supports 21,000 jobs. The economic impact of events staged in the city is largely through associated hotel, leisure and retail spend.


3.4      In light of the current budgetary pressures on Brighton and Hove City Council the Outdoor Events Department have looked at ways to maximise the return on our open space assets for the 2023 season, seeking new opportunities for events with proven economic benefits and seeking to expand existing events to increase tourism spend.


3.5      Whilst many of the events listed in Appendix 1 have taken place before and retain their traditional place in the annual calendar, officers have received requests for several new events in 2023.   A summary of these is outlined in paragraphs 3.9 to 3.15 of this report. There is a strong desire in the events industry for a return to normal operations where possible, and the city continues to be attractive for new events.


3.6      A balanced approach is required to prevent overuse of popular areas. Appendix 1 to this report shows the range of spaces and sites where events are proposed to take place. Officers will ensure that all events taking place on council land will comply with the Council Outdoor Events Strategy 2019-2024 which includes signing up to the new Events Charter. An emphasis will be put on event organisers adopting high sustainability standards and minimising their impact on the environment, their surroundings and the land they are using.


3.7      The events office continues to commit to not using any open space for more than 28 days in the calendar year for any commercial use in line with permitted development regulations.


3.8      The process for approval has, traditionally been on an annualised basis. This means that the time from approval to operation for events in the early part of the Calendar is very short and doesn’t allow suitable planning time for operators or sufficient time for due diligence from Council Officers and SAG members. The Outdoor Events Office would also like to apply to move this approvals process to a 6-monthly process (July and November) in order to give a minimum of 6 months between approval and production. This would mean the next report to this committee would fall in July 2023 seeking approval for the January-June programme for 2024.


            New/Amended Events


3.9      Land Beyond, Waterhall, 28 April – 30 April 2023:  Held as a double bill event with ‘Noughty 90’s’ in 2022 this event will now be a stand alone event. They are seeking landlord’s consent for a ticketed music event with the addition of camping facilities for up to 1000 customers. They are looking at a capacity of 8,000 per day subject to planning and approval. The event will apply for its own Premises Licence and pay a commercial hire fee for the land.


3.10    Brighton Fringe, May 2022 - Spiegeltent, Old Steine/Victoria Gardens South, Ladyboys of Bangkok Cabaret, Victoria Gardens South, Fringe Venue, St Peter’s North. Officers have yet to receive detailed requests from Brighton Fringe temporary venue organisers for their outdoor event venues. However, Brighton Fringe have made the request to hold spaces in order to enter into negotiations for the use of Victoria Gardens South, St Peter’s North and the Old Steine throughout the Fringe Festival in May 2023. The intention is to allow the Fringe Festival to operate using the Council’s Premises Licences, operating venues between 10am and 2am.


3.11    Rock and Roll Circus, Preston Park 2-5 June 2023:  An established brand offering a combination of high-end aerobatic performance with A list musical entertainment in a Big-top style venue. The organisers have a proven track record of working in sensitive inner-city sites and delivering well managed and controlled audio to minimise disruption to residents.


3.12    Utopia Nation festival, Hove Park 17 June 2023:  An established UK brand that is making its Brighton debut. Utopia is 4000 capacity music event with a focus on immersive experience for customers. Featuring a wide range of musical genres and with a legacy for good local relationships.


3.13    Being Me 10k, Hove Lawns, 4 June 2023:  A new running event with a focus on inclusivity and participation. Being launched with Dame Kelly Holmes.


3.14    Urban Moves Festival, Venue TBC 24 June 2023:  The Urban Moves Festival is a one-day family festival that will be taking place in Brighton. It intends to celebrate emerging local music talent from the Funk, Soul, Jazz, Hip-Hop and RnB music scenes. In addition to live music, the festival will be showcasing local dance companies, drag acts and spoken word artists. The festival will have areas for children and a small funfair. Offering a platform for a variety of local food vendors and market traders showcasing their delicious and inspiring produce. Also featuring space for local community organisations to have a presence to spread awareness of their crucial services within the city. Aiming for a capacity of 2000 people.


3.15    On The Beach, Madeira Drive Beachfront, 21-23 July & 28-30 July 2023: With the great success of the launch of this new Iconic event for the Brighton events calendar we are looking to expand this brand to offer additional opportunities for community activation mid-week and a wider range of musical styles for 2023. With the addition of the second weekend the event will break away from the purely electronic music format to include significant live music days. Analysis of feedback from 2022 will mean additional consultation on noise management and permitted level and the removal of the Thursday to minimise work time disturbance for the working from home contingent.


4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         Not applicable


5.            Community engagement and consultation


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      Officers will provide a verbal update on the consultation responses at the committee meeting.


Social Value Impact


5.3      Events can affect the way places are perceived and people’s relationships with their place of residence, making them feel connected to it. It may encourage people to contribute more towards local projects or take more care of the local environment. Events act as vehicles to bring people together, encouraging social contact leading to enhanced individual wellbeing and more resilient communities. People benefit from participating in events, but also by volunteering and getting involved in planning and organising them helping to build capacity of communities to organise events and other projects in the future.


5.4      Involvement in events can enhance people’s quality of life by providing enjoyable, sociable experiences to look forward to and reflect on as well as encouraging personal development to equip people with skills, confidence and knowledge to help them in their lives.


5.5      Events are not universal appreciated and there may be some associated negative effects that diminish their social value including disruption to everyday routines.


Noise Management


5.6      All events involving the use of amplified music will be required to provide the council with a noise management plan which will be shared with colleagues in Environmental Protection for comment. Event organisers will need to adhere to specific restrictions on levels of noise at their event, as well as provide the council will evidence of mitigation measures in place to reduce the impact on nearby businesses and residents.


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 continue to form 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      Officers will ensure that all events meet the requirements of the Outdoor Events Strategy 2019-2024, including the need for all event organisers to sign up to the Outdoor Events Charter.


7.    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 contribute to the costs of the Outdoor Events Team and has, in a normal financial year, enabled charitable and community events and free public entertainments to be supported at reduced rates across the city.


Name of finance officer consulted: John Lack    Date consulted (20/10/22):


8.            Legal implications


8.1         The Council is authorised under section 8 of the East Sussex Act 1981 to close parks in its area for up to 28 days a year in order to facilitate the staging of shows/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 notably under Class B Part 4 Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 allows “the use of any land for any purpose for not more than 28 days in total in any calendar year and the provision on the land of any moveable structure for the purposes of the permitted use”.


8.2         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.


Name of lawyer consulted: Joanne Dunyaglo    Date consulted: 17/10/22


9.            Equalities implications


9.1         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.


10.         Sustainability implications


10.1    All events are planned and staged in accordance with the statutory powers and planning obligations as set out in the Outdoor Events Strategy 2019-2024.


10.2    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. Event organisers continue to be strongly encouraged to sign up to the Council’s Sustainable Event Commitment, helping them to improve sustainability at their events. The Sustainable Events Programme is certified to the international standard for environmental management ISO 14001.


10.3    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 has been amended to meet the requirements of the new          standard and help the council continually improve its engagement with event organisers to improve sustainability.


10.4    Environmental Impact Assessment and Action plans will be required to be undertaken by organisers wishing to stage their events in the city.


10.5    All applications for events to be held on council land will be reviewed by the Events Team to assess the potential impact and risk of the event to Brighton & Hove City Council land. Factors such as location, size, type of event, and what ground protection measures the event organiser has confirmed will be considered when agreeing if a reinstatement bond is required, and the value of this bond. Event organisers will be responsible for the reinstatement of the grounds used if damage occurs as a result of their event. It is important to recognise that the impact on our open spaces by some events is inevitable, but the positive social and economic impacts of these events outweigh the immediate effects on the land.




11.         Other Implications


Crime & disorder implications:


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


Public health implications:


11.2      Outdoor events have a positive impact on the health and well-being of participants and spectators. However, events will need to meet covid safe requirements if they are able to take place.


11.3      Initial landlord’s consent for outdoor events is determined by the council many months in advance, however, whether any event can go ahead is still very much dependent on all the safety and event permissions being in place at the time of the event.


11.4      Officers attend regular meetings held by the Sussex Resilience Forum, to ensure consistency as a region in relation to guidance, advice and information being given to event organisers with regards to Public Health concerns. It is recognised regionally that keeping visitors and residents safe is our priority.


Supporting Documentation


1.            Appendices


1.        List of proposed outdoor events in parks and open spaces for 2023