Holding your outdoor event in Bolton

Welcome to Bolton, the perfect place for your next event

In Bolton, our straight talking, no-nonsense approach to life, combined with a can-do attitude and a great sense of humour, pride and commitment help to make us your first-choice location to hold an event. We pride ourselves in creating and supporting some of the country’s best loved events as well as grass-roots community activity – all of which put Bolton on the ‘map’ at local, national and international level, enhancing the cultural offer and adding to our appeal as a great place to live, work, visit and invest.

We offer a great range of outdoor locations for event organisers, from bustling town centres and award-winning parks and green spaces – all of which can be adapted to suit most events!

If you or your organisation is looking to hold an outdoor event in Bolton, we’d love to hear from you. To create an event that delivers we’ve put together a checklist and provided links to national guidelines and legislative requirements.

Application process

  1. Review our event organisation checklist
  2. Register your interest via the button below.  We aim to reply within 10 working days.

Register your interest in holding an event

Large scale events

For events classed as medium to major (attracting 500 people or more) Bolton's safety advisory group (SAG) will provide contact details of local agencies (such as the police, ambulance service, highways) with whom you should consult at a joint agency meeting (JAM). This list will not be exhaustive but will include the agencies generally liaised with for larger events. You should hold at least one joint agency meeting (JAM) where representatives of these agencies are in attendance.

The following are our minimum recommended timescales that should be followed for large scale events:

Minimum timings Action
12 months to event Expression of interest – application form to be submitted
9 months to event Joint agency meeting – hold initial meeting
12 weeks to event

Licence applications – if you are applying for a premises licence please ensure you complete and submit your forms

Road closures – if you are applying for permission to close a public highway, you must apply a minimum of 12 weeks before your event

Event management plan – draft copy to be submitted to SAG

8 weeks to event Safety advisory group – event organiser/committee attend SAG to present the EMP

Small scale events

These events will still need to adhere to some of the same timescales as larger events and as such, event organisers must consider this in their planning and we require at least 3 months notice for small scale events.  Some smaller scale events may not need a licence, for example if alcohol is not supplied, there is no music or dancing, or if you are holding a fair or market with four stalls or less.

For small scale events (attracting up to 499 people) we will advise if the event organiser will be required to attend a safety advisory group (SAG) meeting to share more information about the event.

Do I need a license

Organisers who are putting on the types of outdoor events listed below will no longer have to apply for a licence. However, if you are in any doubt whether your event fits the required criteria please review our licences webpage.

Types of events that no longer need a licence:

  • entertainment organised by, or on behalf of a local authority, health care provider or school on its own premises between 8am and 11pm. There is no limit on audience size or any other conditions
  • live and recorded music provided by third parties taking place between 8am and 11pm on local authority, hospital, school and community premises before audiences of no more than 500, subject to prior written consent from the premises owner given to the event organiser
  • audience limits for live music between 8am and 11pm in alcohol licensed premises (exempted under the live music act 2012) will increase from 200 to 500

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Event infrastructure

Bolton Council wants to support creative, community-led and delivered events. We are therefore making available a number of items which can be used when hosting an event or activity. These include items for both outdoor and indoor events, from tables and chairs to PA systems and stage lighting kits.

These items can be viewed on our event infrastructure list.

These are all provided completely free of charge. The process for booking these items, and what we have available, can be found in the booking form link in the list below.

This project is funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

  • Check the items which are available to hire and reserve them using our booking form.
  • Remember, you will need public liability and possibly employer’s liability insurance cover for your event.
  • When you have submitted your booking form, you will receive an email notification from Bolton Council’s Marketing & Events Team.
  • The Team will then contact you within five business days regarding the availability of the items you have requested and make arrangements for you to collect them.
  • Collection can be arranged from 9am – 4pm, Monday to Friday.
  • You will need to arrange for transport of the items. We can provide measurements of all items to ensure that you can fit them into your vehicle. We also have an electric pump truck available to help move bulky items.
  • All items are available from the old Beales site on Howell Croft North in Bolton town centre (opposite The Albert Halls and Sports Direct). There is a loading bay directly outside this site where you can park whilst loading.
  • If your event is being held during the evening or over a weekend, you will need to consider how you can securely store the items until you can return them to us (returns are also only possible between 9am – 4pm, Monday to Friday).