Hire a park or open space for your event

The use of any of Cambridge's parks and open spaces requires permission from us.

We are committed to supporting community events and will consider licensing all proposed events as we recognise that they provide an opportunity to enjoy and take part in a rich variety of music and entertainment, as well as bringing more people into the area in support of both economic and cultural growth.

Hire an open space

  1. Read our guide to the application process [PDF, 71kB]
  2. Check the pricing guide [PDF, 256kB]
  3. Submit a statement of intent [RTF, 67kB]

Safety Advisory Group

The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is made up of senior officers from all the emergency services (police, fire and rescue, ambulance, NHS Trust) as well as the City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and other relevant organisations.

The group meets regularly to consider forthcoming events and to give advice to organisers.

If you're planning to hold an event which involves a large gathering of people, the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) would like you to provide details about the event. This will allow the group to assist with the planning and provide you with advice on a range of issues including safety, street closures and licences that may be required.

The group is chaired by this council.

Tell the group about your event

We suggest you tell us about your event as early as possible, even if the details haven't been confirmed.

Typical events we should know about

  • fetes and fairs
  • open-air concerts and music festivals
  • trade shows
  • sporting events
  • open-air entertainment
  • firework displays
  • large-scale company parties
  • processions, marches and carnivals
  • street parties
  • religious events

Event safety

The event safety guide aims to help everyone who organises events to ensure that they run safely. The guide will enable event organisers to understand the needs of others concerned with the event, such as local authorities and the emergency services, so that they can all work together to improve event safety.  The guide is produced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and can be found here: event_safety_guide.pdf [PDF, 0.7MB]

Useful information

Guidance for any temporary demountable structures (eg stages) and where Construction (Design and Management) regulations apply and what has to be considered can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/51/contents/made

For guidance on Food Safety or Hygiene Regulations, you can contact our commercial team via email:commercial@cambridge.gov.uk  Additional information can be found here:  https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/food-safety

Event licensing

The Licensing Act 2003 states that most events and activities will require a premises licence or temporary events notice.

This will be the case if you intend to carry out any of the following at your event:

  • the sale by retail of alcohol
  • the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to order of, a member of a club
  • the provision of late-night refreshment
  • the provision of regulated entertainment, including:
    1. the performance of a play
    2. the exhibition of a film
    3. an indoor sporting event such as boxing or wrestling entertainment
    4. a performance of live music
    5. any playing of recorded music
    6. a dance performance
    7. entertainment of a similar description to that falling within (5) or (6)

All formal events require a premises licence. An event is considered to be formal when there are likely to be over 50 attendees, is commercial in nature and the location of the event will make that area unavailable for public use.

A temporary events notice (TEN) can be issued for events for up to 499 people (including staff, stewards and performers) and for a maximum period of four days.

It is the responsibility of the event organiser to apply for and cover the cost for either of the licences.

Event health and safety

All organisers of events will require public liability insurance with a limit of indemnity of £5,000,000 per claim. All contractors and performers will also need their own public liability cover.

As part of your application, Cambridge City Council must ensure that you have considered the potential risk to your event attendees, staff and organisers and the public at large who may be in the vicinity or affected by potential dangers.

Risk assessment

It is a requirement of Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 that a sufficient assessment of risk is made.

In completing a risk assessment, you provide protection to everyone involved in the event. This includes everyone who is on site at the event but also provides some protection to you as the event organiser and Cambridge City Council as the land owner or manager, in case of an accident.

The risk assessment should be appropriate to the risk. This means that you must show that you have considered the potential risk to the public and can identify the steps which should be taken to protect people from harm.

The Five Steps to Risk Assessment guide [PDF] from the Health and Safety Executive contains a template risk assessment form which you can use to help make your assessment.

Depending on the size and nature of your event it may be necessary to complete a more specific or detailed assessment.

The Health and Safety Executive website contains a large amount of information and guidance on what is required for various types of events.

Popular event locations

The sites listed here are the most-commonly used areas for medium- to large-scale public events in Cambridge.

Cherry Hinton Hall is a 12.67 hectare park in the south of the city with trees, a pond, paddling pool, tennis court and children's play area. Past events have experienced audiences up to 12,000. Car parking is available through negotiated agreements with local schools. Heavy vehicle access and water and sewage points are available, and the site has an electricity sub-station.

Christ's Pieces is a 3.2 hectare parkland setting with trees, flower beds, children's play area and tennis courts. Past events have experienced audiences up to 1,000 attendees. This site experiences high levels of pedestrian footfall. Vehicle access is restricted and limited to 7.5 tonnes.

Jesus Green is a 11.13 hectare park next to the river. Past events have experienced audiences in excess of 8,000. Heavy vehicle access and water and sewage points are available, and the site has an electricity sub-station.

Midsummer Common is 13.4 hectares of open common land next to the river. Past events have experienced audiences in excess of 25,000. Heavy vehicle access and water and sewage points are available. There are restricted operating conditions; please contact us to discuss before making an application.

Parker's Piece is a 9.62 hectare square of clear open space in the heart of the city. Past events have experienced audiences in excess of 20,000 attendees. Heavy vehicle access is available, along with limited water sewage points.

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