Culture, Heritage, Tourism, Sport, and Economic

Agenda Item 23

Development Committee


Subject:                    Open Spaces Event Programme 2024


Date of meeting:   


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 2024. 


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 to make any 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.


2.4         That the committee agree a 3 year landlords consent be granted for the On The Beach series pending agreed conditions.


3.            Context and background information


3.1      The financial impacts of the cost of living crisis has continued to have a significant effect on the Outdoor Events Industry throughout 2023, with a number of events failing to open their gates despite receiving landlords consent. Attendance at events, and the resulting ‘on the day’ spend from customers is estimated to be down from ticket sales by between 10 and 15% across the board with mass participation and sporting events seeing the most significant downward pressure.


3.2      Outdoor events made a return to a full programmed schedule in Brighton & Hove in the summer of 2023. 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 looked at ways to maximise the return on our open space assets for the 2024 season, seeking new opportunities for events with proven economic benefits and seeking to expand existing events to increase tourism spend. We will be continuing this approach in 2024. This will also be supported by a new Outdoor Events Development Post which will specifically look at further income generation and inward investment opportunities.


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 2024. A summary of these is outlined in paragraphs 3.9 to 3.14 of this report.


3.6      There are currently consultations taking place on an events programme for the new Black Rock meanwhile use site that are yet to be confirmed due to mobility on the current development timeline. When this has been agreed a more detailed breakdown for this location will be presented at a future committee meeting.


3.7      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 council’s 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.


3.8      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.






            New/Amended Events


3.9       Brighton Fringe, Multiple Venues. May 2024: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 Square and the Old Steine throughout the Fringe Festival in May 2024. The intention is to allow the Fringe Festival to operate using the Council’s Premises Licences, operating venues between 10am and 2am. We do not intend to operate St Peter’s North in 2024.



3.10    Funk & Soul Fest (SoundClash) Venue: The Great Escape Beach Site. 24-27 May: This event, that ran in 2019, is a ‘bolt-on’ to The Great Escape (TGE) site on Brighton beach. This would be a celebration of funk and soul music utilising the already implemented infrastructure in place for the TGE beach activation and therefore has very limited additional impact on the City while attracting a new audience not elsewhere catered for in the City programme.



3.11    Urban Moves Festival (Urban Moves Promotions Ltd), Venue: Hove Park. 8 June 2024: 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.


3.12    Ibiza Proms in the Park (New Vision Events Ltd), Venue: Hove Park/Black Rock. 22/29 June TBC: This event series, popular nationally would feature a full orchestra reimagining some of the classics of the Ibiza Dance era. A one day concert with a capacity of up to 15,000 attendees would feature, if able to locate at Black Rock as a high profile launch for this new and exciting meanwhile space in the city and would serve to bridge the gap from more modern musical styles currently well represented in the City with a more Classical music element.


3.13    On The Beach (Concorde 2 Ltd), Venue: Madeira Drive Beachfront: 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 2024. For 2024-26, a 3-year agreement is sought for this event to aid in the development of a wider community programme and more long-term thinking on the development of this event as a key iconic summer offering for the City. Agreements of this length have been put in place in  previous years for Shakedown Festival and Brighton Pride.


3.14    Brighton Big Top Concert Series (Joy Promotions Ltd), Venue: Preston Park. 4-6 October: Seeking to widen the Brighton events season to open extended opportunities for local tourism and nighttime economy this concert series would seek to utilise Preston Park for a smaller, more intimate musical experience. Capped at 8,000 capacity per day this would offer an indoor venue in a capacity range currently unavailable in the city entertainment portfolio and drive an extended visitor window to the city in a period that is traditionally quitter for hotels and hospitality businesses.



4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         N/A


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.


5.3      Since 2022 a series of face to face consultation sessions with local residents has been organised. Starting with the key event locations of Preston Park and Valley Gardens, this will be extended to Madeira Drive and Hove lawns in the coming year allowing for direct consultation with residents at least every six months.


Social Value Impact


5.4      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.


5.5      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.


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


Noise Management


5.7      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         There are no direct financial implications arising from the recommendations of this report. Staff time required in implementing these events will be contained within the existing Outdoor Events budgets. The Outdoor Events budget does contain an income target of £0.533m which is inclusive of £0.100m additional income target agreed at Budget Council on 23rd February 2023 for the current 2023/24 financial year. Though the events within this report relate to the 2024 period, by entering into formal agreements and determining fees, this will contribute to achieving the income target for the 24/25 financial year. Any significant variations to budget will be reported as part of the council’s monthly budget monitoring process.


Name of finance officer consulted: John Lack Date consulted: (30/08/23)


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 Legal officer consulted: Elizabeth Culbert Date consulted: (01/09/23)


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.


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


            List of proposed outdoor events in parks and open spaces for 2024