An event, for our Events Team, is defined as any organised activity meant to attract over 50 people, including consumers, participants, or spectators.

Informal activities like casual sports, group picnics, or model plane flying in parks don't count as events. However, they become chargeable events if they need extra infrastructure, facilities, or equipment from us.

Below are examples of events in parks and open spaces needing our approval. This list isn't complete, and we decide on the status of any activity:

  • art exhibitions, displays, installations
  • children's birthday parties
  • carnivals
  • commercial leisure installations (balloon rides, ice rinks, etc.)
  • circuses
  • charity collections, fundraising, roadshows
  • cycling events
  • dance events
  • dog shows
  • drone flights
  • festivals, fun-days
  • flower or horticultural shows
  • funfairs
  • faith events
  • filming and photo-shoots
  • firework displays
  • food markets, festivals
  • helicopter landings
  • market bookings
  • melas
  • musical concerts, performances
  • orienteering
  • outdoor theatre, cinema
  • processions
  • promotional activities (stalls, vehicles, etc.)
  • regattas
  • school activity days
  • sports tournaments (over a certain size)
  • sponsored walks, runs, bike-rides
  • vehicle rallies, displays

What we don't class as an event

Small social gatherings like picnics or similar activities in the park don't need notification if they meet these conditions:

  • under 50 people, not advertised publicly (some flexibility on numbers)
  • no on-site cooking, including barbecues (not allowed in our parks)
  • no charity collections, sales, advertising, or distributing printed material (these need permits)
  • no music, amplified sound, or any regulated entertainment
  • no infrastructure like tents, marquees, or inflatables
  • no vehicles

Street parties

For street party information, visit our Apply to hold a street party pages and the Streets for People website.

Protests and demonstrations

We don't approve or authorise protests but support the right to free protest. For public safety, we advise organisers to follow safety guidelines.

Protests in Oxford involve Thames Valley Police (TVP). Organisers must inform TVP about their plans. If on our land, check with us for any event conflicts.

Organisers should have insurance and risk assessments. If the protest is on the public highway, notify Oxfordshire County Council, the Highways Authority.

Contact the Events Team

Address: Oxford City Council,
Town Hall,
St Aldate's,

Telephone: 07483 010263

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