Festivals and public outdoor events are important to community life. You can start and run festivals of all different sizes, budgets and audience.

If you’re thinking about running a festival or an outdoor event in NSW, you should start planning at least 12 months out from your intended start date as there are many elements involved in creating a safe and enjoyable experience.

You should consider the:

  • aim
  • target audience
  • location
  • venue
  • total cost and budget
  • communication channels
  • permits and licences needed
  • resources like volunteers and security
  • competition from other events
  • return on investment
  • impact on the economy
  • food and drink
  • stalls
  • transport
  • disability access 
  • amenities.

Depending on the elements of your festival, you may need to notify or gain approval from the following agencies and organisations:

  • the local council at your festival location
  • Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority
  • NSW Health
  • NSW Ambulance
  • NSW Police
  • SafeWork NSW
  • NSW Fire & Rescue.

For more information on organising and starting a festival, including timelines, checklists and notifying the NSW government of your plans, visit Event starter guide.

Last updated: 15 November 2023