Don’t take liberties. Temporary structures definitely require a licence or certification and the local authorities don’t take kindly to illegally erected marquees in the middle of their prized parkland.

Permanent venues will most likely be already registered event spaces and have all their licenses in place but temporary event spaces and structures, such as marquees, stages and even open-air events will definitely need a temporary permit from the local authorities even though you may be renting out a private field or garden.

There are certain safety checks that will need to be complied with before permission for the structure is granted and it is up to the event planner, to employ a structural engineer to certify that any temporary erected structures such as marquees and tents are safe and in compliance with building regulations and I am not talking about a small garden marquee that you can purchase at your local B&Q!

Be prepared that for public events, the Local authorities may also send in their own people to site inspect. Be nice to them! The process of getting licences may be laborious but it comes with the territory of being an event planner unfortunately.

Temporary structure permits also includes rigging for sound and lighting equipment. As well as any permits that you may personally need to hold the event and have the rigging, ensure that your vendor also has all their required certification in place that allows them to actually build it. This includes but is not necessarily limited to public liability insurance, fire certification for materials that they are using such as carpets and other easily flammable materials and even structural engineer’s certificates. Depending of what you want, you will have to do your homework before hand.

Rides or fairground type of equipment must also be safety certified and be in compliance with all safety regulations for the construction, deconstruction and operation of such equipment including but again not limited to: swings, dodgems, slides and bouncy castles.

Safety is always key and even indoor venues must hold a valid annual fire safety certification. Whatever the scenario, it is always best to check that your venue is in possession of all required paper work before you book it. The safety of many can lie in both your hands and don’t take this responsibility lightly.


Following a University degree and a drastic career move, Fiona Warren-Bassett soon found herself rapidly moving forward in the events and PR world. Enjoying the change of direction, Fiona went on to further her Event Management experience, spending 6 years working for a renowned cruise line company. Having travelled extensively and been actively involved in many events and weddings, Fiona has since returned to land and has successfully launched her freelance writing and PR career.
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