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Plan an outdoor event

If you're running an outdoor event, you may want to include activities or attractions like fun fairs, inflatables or firework displays. Each of these events have specific rules and guidance, and need different types of licensing and insurance.

Find out about:

  • if you need to give notice to the council
  • what licenses and insurance is legally required
  • industry best practice and guidance

If you're planning on providing food or a BBQ, you'll need a catering license and to adhere to health and safety rules.

Parks and open spaces

You will need to submit an application to the council if your event will be held in a park or public open space.

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We may need at least 6 months notice depending on the type and size of your event. Find out more about permits and fees.

Temporary structures

You need to consider the safety and use of any temporary structure at your event. Temporary structures include:

  • marquees
  • staging (open and enclosed)
  • stands
  • seating
  • barriers
  • ramps

There is also a charge if you want to use a portakabin.

You'll also need to consider their:

  • location
  • ground/site conditions
  • possible weather conditions

For large scale or major events, you will also need to provide us with detailed information about how any structure will be set up, used and taken down.

You should hire companies that are approved by MUTA to set up temporary structures. These vendors are protected by public liability insurance of at least £1million. They also ensure marques and structures are:

  • built with a professional standard of workmanship
  • follow industry-leading best practice guide
  • are regularly reviewed in independent inspections

Find more information on the MUTA website, in Health and Safety Executive (HSE)'s advice and by purchasing guidance from the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Funfairs and children’s rides

You will need to provide certificates that show any rides you own/operate have been independently inspected every year.

These reviews need to be done through the Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme (ADIPS). You can ask for certificates through the ADIPS website.

If you're organising the event, it's your responsibility to check the ride operator/owner's paperwork. You should review their terms of maintenance and certificates of Thorough Examination (where applicable).

You can also find more information and guidance on health and safety guidance for fairgrounds on the HSE's website.


If you want to use inflatables like bouncy castles or slides at your event, you need to make sure they have been inspected and insured.

The inflatables need to have been independently inspected through either:

Fireworks and bonfire displays

There are specific rules and procedures you need to follow if you want to include a firework and bon fire display at your event. Find out what you need to do in HSE's guidance on planning and running bonfire/fireworks events.

You will also need to contact West Midlands Fire Service. This is so that they are aware of the event and its potential impact on fire safety within the Walsall Borough. They can also give you advice about:

  • fire risk assessments
  • crowd capacities
  • evacuations in the event of an emergency

Stunts, fights and other potentially hazardous activities

Any stunts, circus acts or hazardous activities must be done by a professional performer. You will also need to ensure that the stunts are done in a careful and controlled manner, and you've completed a risk assessment.

For more advice, the HSE has a guide for hazardous production activities.

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