An Event Management Plan (and associated risk assessments) will demonstrate how you will ensure that your event is safe, has been properly planned, organised and managed.

Before beginning your Event Management Plan. You should read the planning your outdoor event page, which covers some important things to consider before you start planning your event. 

The majority of events will need* an Event Management Plan which is your live document recording the development of your event (* submitted with a Temporary Event Notice or a Premises Licence condition).

Guidance is available to help you write the EMP, you should subscribe to ‘The Purple Guide’ . Your EMP should follow the chapter headings with the detail specific to your event (EMPs which just copy the Purple Guide text are not sufficient).

EMP contents must cover (include all the headings e.g. if there are no fireworks, state N/A):

  • Planning, Management & Risk Assessments
  • Venue & Site Design
  • Resilience activities for events (Contingency & Emergency Planning)
  • Crime & Disorder, Security
  • Medical
  • Communication
  • Transport Management
  • Working at Height
  • Temporary Demountable Structures
  • Fire Safety
  • Electrical & Lighting
  • Barriers & Fencing
  • Crowd Management
  • Special Effects
  • Amusements
  • Waste Management
  • Noise
  • Sanitation
  • Campsites
  • Information & Welfare
  • Food, Drink & Water Provision
  • Safeguarding Children & Young People
  • Animal Welfare
  • Fireworks
  • Unmanned drones
  • Aviation – CAA approval required
  • Staff welfare
  • Coping with the weather
  • Insurance
  • Accessibility
  • Cancellation

The following questions are not a definitive list but give you an example of the matters that organisers should consider when planning any event and writing an Event Management Plan:

  • Have the following key personnel been identified? The Event Organiser, the Event Manager, Safety Officer, Security and Stewarding Manager Etc.
  • Are any special permissions required from people or organisations?
  • Is the site suitable for your event?
  • What is the approximate number of persons attending including staff? Calculation of safe capacity.
  • Have you included detailed site plans showing all entrances, emergency exits, barriers, and temporary demountable structures?
  • Have you included all details of temporary demountable structures to be installed at the event?
  • Have stewards been trained and briefed?
  • Are the needs of disabled people working at or visiting the event being met?
  • Is there a reliable system of communication between key people in place?
  • Is there a reliable system of communication with the audience/crowd in place?
  • Has an event control location been identified, call signs determined and announcements prepared in the case of an emergency?
  • Are crowd control barriers necessary?
  • Are emergency procedures in place and have these been agreed with the emergency services?
  • Can emergency vehicles get on and off the site quickly?
  • Are there effective fire control measures in place?
  • Are there adequate first aid facilities in place?
  • Does a traffic management plan need to be undertaken, and will the event have an effect on the surrounding roads/area?
  • Have you considered the effect of the weather at the event and how you will manage this?
  • Are any special arrangements required and in place e.g. for lost/found children, lost property, drinking  water, toilets, noise control and parking, litter/waste management?
  • Who will make decisions during an emergency and how will they do this?
  • How will an event be stopped in case of an emergency?
  • How will an event be evacuated in an emergency?
  • Has advice been sought from the emergency services about the emergency routes?
  • Is there a reporting procedure in place for the reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences? This should be done at HSE Riddors.
  • Has a suitable and sufficient risk assessment been produced to ensure all necessary health and safety measures are in place?

Code words should not be used in your EMP and do not refer to major incidents in an EMP, use the term ‘serious incidents’.

Site Location and layout plans

The EMP should include a location plan to clearly identify where the event is taking place in relation to the nearest public highway, village/town.

Site layout plans(s) drawn to scale, must show a detailed layout of the event to include: entrances/exits, numbered emergency exits, evacuation zone, stages, toilets, fire-fighting points, first aid, welfare, fencing & barriers, car parks, camping (with amenities + fire-fighting points), risk areas (overhead power cables, ponds etc).

Design the event site layout, access and car parks, to segregate vehicles and pedestrians.

Does your EMP demonstrate that all the relevant factors have been considered when designing your venue or site?


  • Identify hazards e.g. water, roads, slurry pits etc.
  • Access roads to the site and on-site should be capable of taking load of emergency vehicles (17t for fire pump).
  • Layout plan of entrance gate(s), showing search areas, queuing lanes, security arrangements.
  • Site and access lighting (including camping areas).

Venue capacity/available space for the audience

Refer to Chapter 3 of the Purple Guide, and page 66 onwards in HM Government guidance for open air events and venues

The EMP should include calculations required to show safe capacity, provision for disabled persons, and escape routes etc.

Effective planning will identify, eliminate and control hazards and risks.

The EMP planning section must include:

  • Name of event.
  • Organisational chart with named hierarchy of responsibilities.
  • Name of person responsible for health & Safety (details of experience & qualifications).
  • List of management individuals with contact numbers.
  • Description of the event, age range, nature of music.
  • Opening times and performance schedule.
  • Number of guests.
  • Ticket sales monitoring.
  • Procedures for cancelling event and how this will be communicated.
  • How licensable activities will be authorised

Does your EMP demonstrate how you will deal with minor or serious incidents?

Minor emergencies or incidents that do not require the intervention of the emergency services, NHS or local authority will need to be dealt with by developing suitable contingency plans. It is important to appreciate that a minor incident could have the potential to develop into a serious incident if not properly planned for and managed. Event organisers should therefore develop contingency plans to deal with minor incidents along with their serious incident plans.


  • Site layout plans showing location of evacuation area, access to roads, any dedicated emergency vehicle access roads/routes.
  • Site layout plans to show location of numbered access and escape gates.
  • Procedure for “show stop” and who is authorised to do so.
  • Evacuation procedures.
  • Who will decide status of the incident and decide whether or not to call emergency services.

Does the EMP demonstrate how you have designed the venue to allow good entry and exit and to allow for crowd movement within the venue?

The safety and enjoyment of people attending a music event will depend largely on the effective management of the crowd. Crowd management, however, is not simply achieved by attempting to control the audience, but by trying to understand their behaviour and the various factors which can affect this.


Consider suitable arrangements, wherever possible, to ensure that all people regardless of their needs are able to attend. It is also recommended that a complete access strategy is prepared which includes the technical issues as well as factors which will encourage and attract all persons to your event.

  • Provide an accessible booking system, taking account of the needs of disabled people.
  • Consider the transport needs of disabled people.
  • Box office and wristband exchange services should be physically accessible.
    It is important that accessible toilets and changing facilities are provided and clearly signposted.
  • Level access to the event and onsite facilities, including the use of ramps and lifts, need to be considered for wheelchairs etc.
  • The provision of dedicated viewing platforms or areas with clear sight lines is a key access provision for any event.
  • Consider the needs of workers and artists/performers who may require disabled assistance.
  • Consider the needs of deaf and disabled people in emergency evacuation plans.
    Ensure that those working on the event site are trained in disability awareness.
  • If you are able to work with an access consultant or an event related disabled persons organisation to give you feedback on their experience at your event this will assist you in future planning for improvements.

You are required by law to protect your employees, the public, contractors, volunteers and others, from harm.

The minimum you must do is:

  • Identify what could cause injury or illness at the event.
  • Decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk).
  • Take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk.

For more information and risk assessment templates visit Heath & Safety Executive (HSE) health and safety risk assessment.

Risk assessments must be suitable & sufficient including specific details, not a list of ticked boxes.

Medium and large events may need to employ a competent safety advisor to assist with the event safety management process and documentation.

Organisations with five or more employees must have a written health and safety policy.

Heath & Safety Executive (HSE) guidance for Event Safety

Does the EMP consider provision for children even if the event itself is not necessarily aimed at children, as they may accompany adults? Make sure that your publicity material indicates whether or not the event is suitable for children and if they are required to be accompanied by an adult, or if children under a certain age are not allowed entry.


  • Admittance policy; no children under X age, no unaccompanied children under X age etc.
  • Wristbands for children with contact details.
  • Lost child policy.

Event staff who will be supervising the welfare of children must have an up to date enhanced DBS check.

For any outdoor event, festival, mass gathering etc. it is essential that there is suitable and sufficient pre-planning for fire safety.

By law the responsible person must carry out and regularly review a fire risk assessment for the event. This will identify what you need to do to prevent fire and keep people safe.

You must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment if your business has 5 or more people – regardless of this requirement you will need to write and include a fire risk assessment as part of your EMP.

HM Government guidance for open air events and venues.

The National Fire Chiefs Council’s Event Safety Group has developed a suite of best guidance documentation to enable a consistent approach to information giving, gathering, planning and recording. The guidance includes blank fire safety risk assessment templates.

Other common points to consider:

  • Diesel only generators, no not allow petrol generators.
  • Ensure grass/straw etc is cut short to prevent the risk of fire from car exhausts, other ignition sources etc.
  • Event staff expected to use portable fire fighting equipment must be adequately trained.
  • Medium/large events may need to provide an on-site mobile fire-fighting appliance.
    Incomplete fire points in the event arena and campsite is a major reason why events fail to open on time.
  • What have you agreed with a contractor providing fire extinguishers e.g. will they arrive and unload fire extinguishers and leave, or will they go around the site, erect suitable & signed fire points and fix fire extinguishers + instructions and a means of raising an alarm in the case of fire.

Gas safety in mobile catering

Portable gas safety advice from the nationwide caterers association.

You must obtain up to date gas safety test certification from each trader before permitting them on to the event site. Gas fixtures and systems require appropriate certification from a competent person who is gas safety registered for bottled gas appliances.

Events and the medical conditions encountered at them vary widely and casualty presentations may be influenced by a range of factors, including the nature of the event, numbers attending, age profile, activities on site and environmental conditions. In each case a full risk assessment is needed to determine the extent and nature of cover required.

Medical plans should be aimed at providing a safe, effective and resilient service on site whilst helping to minimise the impact of the event on local NHS resources.

  • Every event should have a specific Medical Plan, based on a comprehensive Risk Assessment.
  • Every event should have an appropriate level of medical cover.

In order to determine the level of medical cover the Purple Guide includes a medical cover matrix or you can use this document provided by SECAMB.

Please note that first aid at work, (FAW) and emergency first aid at work (EFAW) are not suitable qualifications for the public ‘event’ environment.

In England, ambulance services undertaking off-site transfers must be registered with the Care Quality Commission for the provision of such services. This registration can be checked on the CQC website.

Electrical installations are a key aspect of any event. However, electricity can cause death or serious injury if the installation is faulty or not properly managed.

The event organiser/manager should appoint a responsible and competent person with the necessary abilities to take the overall responsibility for the safe installation, testing, operation and deconstruction of temporary electrical installations. The responsible person(s) should have suitable and sufficient competencies (especially for outdoor supply, installations and equipment) to enable them to ensure the safety in all respects of any temporary electrical installations & equipment in all conditions which can reasonably be predicted to occur.

Health & Safety Executive guidance

You must obtain written electrical industry standard safety certification before the event opens to the public.

Does the EMP demonstrate the steps you have taken to prevent the risk of electrocution/fire?


  • Description of the installation(s) and equipment, circuit protection measures etc.
  • The safety of the electrical supply and equipment must be signed off by a competent electrician (qualified for outdoor work) and industry standard certification obtained. This includes portable generators.
  • Is the electrical contractor experienced/qualified/competent in outdoor electrical installations and lighting?
  • Named company and competent individual(s) who will sign the electrical safety certificates.
  • Procedure to ensure that safety certification is obtained before event opens to the public; link to contingency plan for late opening.

Even if you are providing just a small marquee, have soil conditions/wind conditions been considered to ensure that marquees and tents etc can be safely securely restrained & pegged?

Temporary Demountable Structures are designed to be erected rapidly and dismantled many times. Generally, these structures are only in place for a short time.  Types of structures include (but are not limited to): tents and marquees, viewing facilities (including temporary seating and viewing platforms), stages, video-screen supports, and sound, lighting and camera structures etc.

Depending on the type of structure, the event organiser should ensure the following key information and documents are available and passed on to all relevant parties:

  • Design concept and specification.
  • Construction drawings (erection and dismantling plans).
  • Calculations (summary).
  • Risk assessments and safe work method statements (erection and dismantling plans).
  • Site layout plans.
  • Wind-management plans.
  • Fire-resistance certificates.
  • Contractor competency (association/accreditation certificates).
  • Crew training/competency certificates.
  • Structural completion certificates (sign-off/handover certificates).
  • Emergency contingency plans for structures.
  • Lifting equipment and lifting-accessory certificates of thorough examination and test.

To ensure the stability of a structure during erection and use, consider its location and orientation early on in the planning of an event.   The organiser and temporary structure contractor should carefully consider the following factors:

  • Is there enough information about the load-bearing capacity of the ground or floor? Take account of previous ground disturbance, e.g. farmland. Geotechnical engineering assistance may be required for sophisticated structures and/or unreliable ground conditions.
  • The possible effects of ground elevation and prevailing winds
  • Is there enough information about the suitability of ground conditions at any structural anchorage point? Pull tests may be required.
  • Is it an adequately drained site? Avoid locations that become unstable due to flooding, as this could cause either the load-bearing capacity of the ground to be reduced or washed away beneath the structural supports.
  • Is the site flat or can it be made flat?
  • Are there overhead power cables, or underground services?
  • Does the proximity of surrounding buildings, structures and vegetation create risks in relation to the possible spread of fire?
  • Are there any gaps or basements under the ground/floor surface?
  • Are there any restrictions on access (and use) for construction plant and equipment?
  • Are any other known hazards relevant to the location?

You must obtain written industry standard safety certification for all temporary demountable structures before the event opens to the public.

Guidance Notes have been produced to assist the organisers of outdoor music events and similar open air events in making their entertainment run smoothly for the benefit of those attending whilst ensuring unreasonable disturbance is not caused to local residents see Environmental Health Noise Guidance.

Quite often people are more willing to tolerate noise from an event when they are well informed of what is happening, how long the event will last for etc. Consider contacting neighbours before the event, informing them of your plans and providing an organiser contact number who will be at the event, in case of problems during the event.  Be prepared to act responsibly and act on any complaints that are received.  Ensure that music noise levels are adequately monitored and controlled during the event to prevent nuisance, particularly the bass component and PA systems.

There are distinct differences between Security Industry Authority (SIA) licensed security personnel and stewards/marshals.  Stewards/marshals usually assist the event organiser with customer care and provide practical assistance.  Security (SIA) personnel are employed to assist with public safety, safeguard against outbreaks of disorder, and other SIA licensable activities.

Please read the Government’s guidance on ‘security at events’ which covers the roles of SIA, stewards & marshals.

Event organisers will need to be aware of the SIA requirements for the employment of security.

Sussex Police may require the names/SIA licence number for each security person.  These should be provided to Sussex Police at least two weeks (or other specified timescale in advance of the event, together with names and dates of birth of all stewards/marshals to be provided to the police two weeks in advance.

Stewards/marshals at events must not search bags or persons etc unless they hold a SIA licence.

For Bonfire Society firework events please contact

You must consider the “Fireworks” chapter in the Purple Guide before planning for fireworks at your event.

  • Public firework displays at events must be properly planned and managed by a competent company or person (i.e. someone with sufficient training and experience).
  • A  site specific risk assessment must be undertaken giving consideration to the weather conditions and location and in order to choose appropriate fireworks for the display and to provide contingency planning.
  • The public must be kept out of the display site – often this will require suitable barriers and stewarding.
  • Consideration should be given to environmental issues, including noise, debris and smoke.
  • Adequate arrangements must be made for clearing the site after the display.

You must obtain the names and qualifications of the firers (for fireworks) – one must be level 2 and be present on site during the event.

Special effects/pyrotechnics

You must consider the “Special Effects” chapter in the Purple Guide before planning for fireworks at your event.

CIEH National Guidance for Outdoor and Mobile Catering

Food vendors must be registered with a Food Safety Authority and have a FHRS of 3 or above. Names and addresses of food vendors should be emailed to Environmental Health ( two weeks before the event.  For fire safety allow for at least a 3 metre gap between each catering unit with cooking facilities/gas supply, plus at least 6m between catering units and tents, stages etc.

Advice about portable gas safety from the nationwide caterers association , Fire safety

You must obtain up to date gas safety test certification from each trader before permitting them on to the event site.

Potable water – details of supply and outlets.  Do supply pipes and outlets/taps need cleaning and testing?  If a temporary supply is being provided e.g. bowsers and a tanker – these will need its own management plan and testing regime.

Sites with animals normally on will have animal droppings and this may expose people to health risks such as E.coli 0157 infection. Exclude animals from all areas (other than car parks unless they include picnic areas/play areas) for as long as possible before public access (a minimum of 3 weeks).

  • Remove animals from fields at least 3 weeks prior to use.
  • Keep animals off the field during use.
  • Remove all obvious animal droppings at the beginning of the 3 week period.
  • Close cut the grass, keep it short and remove the clippings prior to recreational use.
  • Dispose of animal droppings and grass clippings hygienically.
  • During recreational use always wash hands before  eating, drinking and smoking using soap, clean towels and preferably hot and cold running water.
  • Sample any private water supply before recreational use.
  • Ensure adequate supervision of children, particularly Under 5’s

To prevent misuse or overcrowding the inflatable must be supervised by a competent adult at all times when it is inflated.

Inflatable play equipment is “designed to be used by members of the public for entertainment purposes either as a slide or for bouncing upon”.  Inflatables, such as castles, slides, domes etc can be bought from a number of different manufacturers and suppliers in the UK, both new and second hand.  They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and can be designed for use by adults, children or both.  They can also be hired by organisations or members of the public for parties etc.

What you need to know:

The quality construction, maintenance and operation of inflatable play equipment can be extremely variable.  Buyers, hirers and users should make sure they know what it is they are paying for; things are generally cheap for good reason!  Health and safety law will apply to the supply, hire and use of inflatables for commercial purposes.  [It does not apply to private, domestic buyers and users.]

If inflatable play equipment etc will be part of your event you must read the guidance available, particularly the anchorage requirements – at least 6 anchors evenly spaced including high anchor points, if provided (achieving satisfactory anchorage may be difficult depending on soil type and weather conditions).

HSE guidance on inflatables.

You should also insist that the operator provides and uses a calibrated functioning anemometer so the wind speed can be measured accurately (this will be a pre-requisite requirement for inflatable play equipment etc on Council owned land).  The operator must provide evidence they are measuring the wind speed constantly, with reference to the safety guidance issued by the manufacturer. If the meteorological office is predicting gusts of wind at high speeds, then inflatables must not be used.

Certificates are required to show that the inflatable has been inspected in the current year. PIPA or ADIPS registration numbers should be obtained and their website checked to ensure the annual inspection has been carried out:

Note that an inspection only certifies that the product still complies with the safety standard at the time of manufacture.

Does the EMP state whether camping is linked to the event, whether on site of off?


  • Layout plan of camping area, showing pitches, fire lanes, fire-fighting equipment.  The means for warning people and the actions you require people to take in the event of a fire.
  • Who will supervise campers pitching tents etc.
  • The site should be level, adequately drained and have a water supply, toilets, lighting, medical services, stewards and waste disposal facilities.
  • You will need to make sure tents/camper vans/caravans are far enough apart to prevent a fire hazard, and vehicles will need to be parked away from the camping area.  Live-in vehicles such as camper vans and caravans should have their own separate area.
  • Every tent/camper vans/caravans should be not less than 6 metres from any other unit in separate family occupation and not less than 3 metres should be permitted between units in any circumstances.
  • Vehicles and other ancillary equipment should be permitted within the 6 metres space between tents  in separate family occupation but, in order to restrict the spread of fire, there should always be 3 metres clear space within the 6 metres separation.
  • You will need to have an evacuation plan should an emergency arise.  The site should be provided with adequate fire-fighting equipment and trained fire stewards at all times, and open campfires should be discouraged.
  • Portable sound systems, radios etc. should be prohibited to prevent noise nuisance from the camping area.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol that can be brought into the camping area.
  • Campsite security arrangements.

Does the EMP ensure that adequate sanitary provision is made for the number of people expected to attend the event, and that consideration is given to location, access, construction, type of temporary facilities, lighting and signage?

Construct and locate toilets so that people are protected from bad weather and trip hazards.  The floors, ramps and steps of the units should be stable and of a non-slip surface construction.  Protect connecting pipe work to avoid damage.

Toilet provision should include accessibility for all persons, readily visible, lit, and clearly signed from all parts of the venue. The areas and, where appropriate, the individual units, should be adequately lit at night and during the day, if required.

Waste Management

Large quantities of waste materials will be generated by the concessionaires and the audience at most events.  Does the EMP demonstrate how you will manage waste in order to minimise the risks associated with its accumulation, collection and final disposal?

Consider the effect of litter on the environment

Barriers at music events serve several different purposes. They can provide physical security, as in the case of a high perimeter fence at an outdoor concert, or be used to prevent the audience climbing on top of mixer towers, etc. They may also be used to relieve and prevent the build-up of audience pressures, e.g. a properly constructed front-of-stage barrier enables those suffering physical distress to be reached and helped more easily.

Does the EMP contain details about the types of barrier, their purpose and location?  Do you need to seek expert advice on the type of barrier?

Does the EMP consider information provided to performers?


  • How to reach the site and a map of the site showing specific artists’ entrance, on stage, stage plan and accommodation plan.
  • An itinerary of what is happening, site access times, sound check times, performance times, etc.
  • Specific security arrangements.


Does the EMP demonstrate how you will plan and manage merchandising?

  • The merchandising facilities which include the structure of the stalls or stands.
  • The space requirements.
  • The setting up, dismantling and operation of the stall or stand.
  • The items for sale as merchandising.
  • In your trader terms and conditions specify what goods are prohibited from sale or supply e.g. gas, electrical items, alcohol, “chemical highs” etc.

Does the EMP demonstrate how you will maintain effective communication during the planning stage, event build, during the event and post event?

  • Communication procedures between event staff.
  • Inter-professional communication.
  • Public information and communication.
  • Procedures for communicating the cancellation/postponement of the event.

Information and welfare

Does the EMP demonstrate how you will provide information and welfare facilities?

Providing information and welfare services at an event not only contributes to the safety and well-being of the audience but they also act as an early-warning system to detect any potential breakdown of services or facilities on site.  The range and level of information and welfare services needed at any event will be determined by the event risk assessment.

Make sure that you clarify the role and responsibilities of welfare and information workers in advance.  Fully brief other services involved in the organisation and management of an event, such as stewards and emergency services about the nature of available welfare and information services and encourage them to share information and liaise with such services before and during an event.  Ensure that workers in the information and welfare services have suitable access and communication with members of the event management team, stewards, first aid, etc.

Locate information and welfare services in suitable accommodation, easily accessible, well signed, properly lit and make sure that they are open for the whole time the audience are on site.

TV and media

Does the EMP include details about the management of TV and media which can be split into two areas: pre-event and during event?

Counter Terrorism

Please refer to current government counter terrorism guidance


Does the EMP include details about the type and cover for separate: public liability, event, and cancellation insurance?

Construction, Design & Management Regulations 2015

The designing and building of staging etc and other structures (even temporary) may be deemed construction work under the regulations.  The organiser, land owner and others may have duties and responsibilities under the regulations.  The regulations are enforced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)

Balloon and sky lantern releases

Consider the effect on the environment

Amusements, attractions, rides and promotional displays

Does the EMP demonstrate you have obtained the required safety information/insurance about the activity from the operator?  This is to ensure that the siting and operation of the amusement does not: compromise safety in relation to the overall risk assessment for the event; block the emergency access routes; or not cause audience congestion problems.

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