Planning an event

The Events Team will assist and provide advice on all aspects of event organisation. All events and event organisers within the city must follow HSE event safety guidelines which aim to help events run safely. The event organiser, whether an individual, collective or local authority, has prime responsibility for protecting the health, safety and welfare of everyone working at, or attending, the event.

The guidelines lay out what is required for each event and organisers are responsible for ensuring their contractors and employees satisfy the Health and Safety and associated regulations. The Events Team are on hand to provide any assistance required.

To help you in planning your event, the team have pulled together application packs and instructions you need to include in your planning. In some circumstances, depending on the organiser's requirements, the Events Team may charge for their services.

You will find useful links and information on this page but if you need more advice, please contact the City Events Team or the Licencing Team using the contact details at the bottom of this page. 

This guidance note has been produced to provide information, mainly on the licensing requirements in terms of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, for Community Events such as Community Galas, Summer Fairs etc. Licences/permissions from other agencies, such as a performing rights licence for the playing of music, may be required in addition to those described.

  • Part 1 - Provides general guidance for planning an event.
  • Part 2 - Describes the category of licences that may be required.
  • Part 3 - Provides guidance on how to determine which category/categories of licence you need.
  • Part 4 - Gives information on some other forms of licence which may be needed.
    This list is not exhaustive and it is the organiser's responsibility to consider fully the implications of any of the activities at the event.
  • Part 5 - Information on fees and application forms.

You can download the guidance note below: 

if you are planning a parade or procession, you must complete a form to inform us and seek permission to carry out the event.

You will be required to pay Traffic Management costs for the temporary closure of roads that will be used for the parade as well as the administration costs.

Aberdeen has a tradition of public processions and demonstrations including parades, marches, cavalcades and demonstrations. Responsibility for a procession and its participants lies principally with the procession organiser who must ensure a pre-planned, well organised and peaceful event, which has as little negative impact as possible on local residents, businesses and communities.

You must also complete a risk assessment form will help us understand what dangers and risks might be associated with holding your event.

If you intend to organise a public procession you can download all forms needed or pick up a notification form from the Litigation and Licensing Team, Marischal College, Broad Street, Aberdeen. For further enquiries email

The Events Team will provide help and advice on all aspects of event management. If you are organising an event, the links and documents below will help you to plan it. 

Here are some useful links which will provide further guidance and advice on different types of event.

The role of the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) is to ensure that reasonable and practical steps have been taken to ensure public safety is applied to all events in the city and to encourage the well-being of the public at those events. The Group provides a one stop shop approach for event organisers with all the relevant Local Authority services and emergency services. 

This group provides advice and guidance on events and contingency plans, reviews and advises on robust and effective risk assessments and ensuring that all appropriate licenses are applied for and in place. This involves close working relationships with our partner organisations and agencies including:

  • Scottish Ambulance Service
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • Police Scotland
  • Grampian Emergency Planning Unit
  • Aberdeen City Wardens
  • Aberdeen City Council Roads Service

Good practice guidance recommends that the detailed elements of events are planned through the process of multi-agency meetings. This is to ensure that all relevant parties are made fully aware of details of the event and how it may affect their own planning for the event and what implications it could have on the delivery of their normal services.

The Events Team can help to find and assess a site for your event. We endeavour to ensure the audience can enjoy the entertainment in a safe and comfortable atmosphere at all times.

We advise all event organisers to visit a venue or site and carry out a preliminary evaluation to determine site suitability. You may need to consider: available space for audience; entrance and exit points; the use of temporary structures; backstage facilities; parking; access routes; camping and meeting points.

City Events Team
Aberdeen City Council
First Floor
Broad Street
AB10 1AQ

01224 522802

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