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0131 335 3685 (24 Hours) enquiries@purvis-marquees.co.uk

Behind every successful outdoor event lies a labyrinth of permits and permissions, a puzzle that can make or break even the most meticulously planned gathering.

Navigating the Bureaucratic Maze

Securing the right permits and permissions for a public outdoor events requires precision, foresight, and an intimate understanding of the terrain. The first step in this process is identifying which permits are necessary for your specific event. This can vary significantly depending on the location, the size of the event, and the activities planned.

In the UK, local councils are your primary point of contact for event permits. They provide the necessary guidance and paperwork, but it’s crucial to start this process early.

Depending on your event, you might need a Temporary Event Notice (TEN), a Premises Licence, or permissions for road closures and noise exemptions. Each of these comes with its own set of requirements and timelines.

Building Relationships with Authorities

Over the years, we’ve learned that building a good relationship with local authorities can be a game-changer. When they see you as a partner rather than just another application, the process becomes significantly smoother. This relationship-building starts with transparency. Provide detailed plans, safety protocols, and contingency strategies. Show them you’ve thought through every possible scenario. This not only reassures the authorities but also speeds up the approval process.

For example, the Edinburgh City Council has a comprehensive guide for event organisers that outlines the necessary steps for obtaining permissions. Familiarising yourself with such resources can save you a lot of time and headaches.

Environmental Considerations

Authorities are increasingly stringent about ensuring that events do not harm the local environment. This includes waste management plans, noise control measures, and safeguarding local wildlife. At Purvis, we pride ourselves on our eco-friendly practices. From using sustainable materials to ensuring minimal disruption to the site, your commitment to the environment often works in your favour when securing permits.

Insurance and Risk Management

Another vital piece of the puzzle is insurance. Public liability insurance is a non-negotiable requirement for any public event. It protects against claims for injury or damage caused during the event. It’s also worth considering additional coverage for things like event cancellation or equipment damage. These policies not only provide peace of mind but are often a prerequisite for obtaining certain permits.

Risk management plans are equally essential. Authorities need to see that you have considered all potential risks and have strategies in place to mitigate them. This includes everything from fire safety plans to crowd control measures. An extensive risk assessment demonstrates your commitment to safety and increases your chances of getting the necessary approvals.

The Role of Professional Associations

Joining professional associations such as the National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) can be beneficial. These organisations provide resources, networking opportunities, and advocacy that can help streamline the permitting process. They often have established relationships with local authorities and can offer advice based on their extensive experience. For more insights, visit NOEA’s website.


By incorporating these strategies and leveraging our expertise, Purvis ensures that every event not only meets but exceeds expectations. We navigate the complexities so you can focus on creating unforgettable experiences.

Until next time, keep dreaming big and planning meticulously. Because in the world of events, it’s the details that make all the difference.