Licensing and Partnerships
A crucial part in the organising of an event, for a promoter or organiser, is securing the correct licensing. Without the appropriate legalities, an event like a festival will not be able to go ahead.
The first licence required is an Event Premises Licence. Many authorities see this licence, permitting the sale of alcohol and provision of regulated entertainment, as the central tool for controlling behaviour at festivals. This means that authorities are able to negotiate conditions to that licence in advance. For festival organisers that have chosen a showground as a venue means this licence is already in place, and you will not have to source one yourself. A showground venue will have developed a relationship with the local authorities that will make it easier to vary their license to suit your event.
The other is a Music licence. A festival organiser would need to apply for this in order to operate on a non-event site. They would normally have to apply for their own event licence, approved by local authorities under a TENS (Temporary Events Notice). An organiser will also need to apply for a licence to sell alcohol. For alcohol, you will need a Designated Premises Supervisor and they should hold a Personal Licence and you will have to complete an application form together with detailed layout plans. The process of sourcing these licences can often be lengthy, and uncertain, with many local authorities being reluctant to issue TENS because of perceived noise and traffic issues.
The council, local authorities and Safety Advisory Groups (SAG), are likely to have worked with a Showground venue previously, and if they have an established record hosting music concerts, festivals and other events which involve music and alcohol, they have the advantage of already having an appropriate and expansive license that is at least 90% festival-ready.
Other useful festival partnerships include hotel services. East of England Arena has a partnership with an accommodation agency, Event Express, to provide discounted hotel accommodation for visitors and performers.
Event Express has negotiated discounted rates at hotels around the East of England Arena exclusively for venue visitors. This offers an attractive alternative to camping on-site and can utilise services such as these. Greenfield sites can’t offer any accommodation services, as they will not have the same relationship or power within the community.