Organising an event and permits

Are you planning an event or festival in the Macedon Ranges? 

Find out all you need to know about seeking a permit, applying for an activity on road permit, and planning a safe and successful event.

If you have any questions, call Nicole Pietruschka, Events & Festivals Officer on 0436 848 350 or email

Types of events

Events and festivals 

An event or festival (public or private) is a gathering that meets any of the following criteria:

  • 150+ attendees (this includes staff and volunteers)
  • Requires temporary infrastructure (e.g. marquees, portable movie screen, staging)
  • Includes caterers/food vendors, and or market stalls
  • Includes amusement rides, inflatables or a petting zoo
  • Racing
  • There will be an impact on traffic conditions and parking
  • Includes organised activity or occupation of footpaths or road reserves (e.g. running races)
  • Includes a display of fireworks or pyrotechnics
  • A fee is charged for entry or participation. 

Social events

Social events are classified as private gatherings under 150 people. This could be for a party, wedding, or sporting event. 

Social gatherings with less than 50 people are not required to submit a notification to Council.

Fines may be issued for events that don't have a permit from Council.

Hosting an open garden or studio? 

An event permit is also required for gardens or studios that are opening for special events and/or where visitation will be greater than existing permit conditions.


Below are approximate timelines to note when planning your event. Depending on the specific requirements of your event, other permissions and permits may apply.

Event permit

2 to 3 months

Events on Council managed land require an event permit. For events that require additional permits and permissions such as an activity on a road permit or a liquor license please allow for longer processing times (see below). 


6 to 18 months

Depending on where your venue is located (public or private land), you may need to liaise with Council, the landowner, Parks Victoria, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action and other authorities.

Permits for road closures and events on roadsides/footpaths

3 to 6 months

Council and VicRoads share the responsibility for roads in the shire. Arterial or main roads are managed by VicRoads. All other roads are managed by Council. For more information, see Activities and events on a road

Signage and alcohol

2 to 3 months

  • Signage: depending on the type of event, you may need to apply for a permit, and/or be required to provide different types of signage, e.g. promotional, road safety, directional/services (public toilets, first aid). 
  • Alcohol service and sales: if you are going to be serving alcohol, you may need to apply to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation for a temporary liquor license. 

Food, music, fireworks

1 to 2 months

  • Food: if you are going to be serving food you may need to apply to Council for temporary food premises permit.
  • Live or recorded music: in most cases, the use of live or recorded music is subject to a licence from One Music Australia. Different licenses are available for different events.  
  • Fireworks or exposed flames: you will need to liaise with Council, CFA and Worksafe (Fireworks). Restrictions apply during Fire Danger Period. For more information visit: Using fireworks and Community Local Law 2023(PDF, 2MB) (refer to Clause 38. Fireworks and Pyrotechnic displays, page 25).

Waste, toilets, power and water

1 month

Depending on the type and location of your event, you may need to liaise with Council, water authorities, cleaning contractors, equipment hire (generators etc) and waste collection companies.

Preparing your event permit application

Victorian Government event planning resources

Victorian Guidelines for Planning Safe Public Events

The Victorian Guidelines for Planning Safe Public Events have been developed through the collaboration of multiple agencies to present best practice for organisers in planning and executing events across Victoria.  

Business Victoria Event planner

Business Victoria has created an Event Planner. The Event Planner is a guided planning tool, to help event you organise an event or festival. As you answer a series of questions, the planning tool builds a to-do list to give you an idea of what permits and licences you may need to apply for.

Council Event Planning resources

Watch our webinar serieswith accompanying resources and templates—designed to assist local events in streamlining their event planning and permit process.

Prepare your supporting documentation

You will be required to provide copies of the following documents before final event permit is issued:

  • Certificate of Currency public liability ($20 million) that covers the activities of your event
  • Written confirmation of booking or support from the proposed venue/site
  • Site plan (Information on how to prepare a site plan can be found here)
  • Risk Management Plan (for advice, watch our webinar series with accompanying templates)
  • Emergency Management Plan (for advice, watch our webinar series with accompanying templates)
  • Event production schedule/run sheet
  • Design of roadside event signage (for applications to VicRoads town entry signs)
  • Traffic Management Plan (required for Activity on Road permits)
  • Risk Management Plan (required for Activity on Road permits)
  • Map of the event route (applies to sporting events such as fun runs, cycling races etc that are held across multiple locations)
  • Commitment to Child Safe Standards (CSS) 

Child Safe Standards (CSS)

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is committed to protecting children and young people from harm and abuse. Organisations seeking grants, running services, programs and events delivered by and in spaces owned by or managed by Council are required to commit to the Victorian Child Safe Standards.  This means creating conditions that reduce the likelihood of harm to children and young people and responding to concerns, disclosures, allocations or suspicions of harm.

If you are running an event in a space owned or managed by Council, you are required to commit to Council’s Child Safe Standards Code of Conduct and Policy. Please show your commitment to the standards by acknowledging and agreeing to the Statement of Commitment to Child Safety(DOCX, 61KB).

To identify how your organisation measures up to the standards, please refer to the Child Safe Standard Checklist(DOCX, 75KB). If the Child Safe Standards is something new to your organisation, please follow the link to find resources on what you can do to support the CSS CCYP | Resources and support for the Child Safe Standards.

Assessing the risk of harm to children and young people

If you are operating within a Council owned space or facility you are required to assess the risk to children in your activity and record your plan to address the gaps. Please refer to the Child Safe Standards Activity Risk Assessment(DOCX, 39KB)  and Risk Assessment and Management Template(DOCX, 461KB)  for assistance identifying risks related to children and young people. 

Submit your event permit application

Event / Activity on Road Permit application form

It is estimated that this form will take approximately 45 minutes to complete. 

Note: the above form replaces the Proposed Event Notification Form that was used pre-2022.

Review process and permit

Your permit application will be circulated to the Events Group for review. This group is made up of a number of Council departments including Economic Development and Tourism, Planning, Operations, Engineering, Emergency Management, Local Laws, Health, Recreation, Arts & Culture, and Risk & OHS. 

Please allow a minimum of eight weeks to receive a response from all Council departments.

Event Approval - terms and conditions(PDF, 550KB)

Other permits

Location, size, activity, impact, and additional structures may trigger the need for additional permits that have a separate application process to the event proposal.

Place of Assembly

Events on private property require a planning permit for Place of Assembly.   

For advice on if a planning permit is required and if what you want to do is allowed, call Council’s Planning department on (03) 5422 0333. Alternatively, you can also visit our Gisborne office and speak to a planner in-person.     

Occupancy Permits - Place of Public Entertainment (POPE)  

The Building Act prohibits public entertainment at a venue (or site) unless an occupancy permit has been issued permitting the use of that venue for public entertainment.   

Events hosted by community-based organisations using outdoor recreational facilities greater than 500m² (without temporary structures) do not require an occupancy permit if the number of persons in the place at any one time during the event or activity does not exceed 5,000.  

Event proposal applicants will be advised if an Occupancy Permit for Place of Public Entertainment is required after initial assessment.  

Permits for temporary structures 

Temporary structures are:

  • Tents, marquees or booths with a floor area greater than 100m²
  • Seating stands for more than 20 persons
  • Stages or platforms (including sky borders and stage wings) exceeding 150m² in floor area
  • Prefabricated buildings exceeding 100m² other than ones placed directly on the ground.  

If you have a Prescribed Temporary Structure you will need to:

  1. Provide an Occupancy Permit for the Prescribed Temporary Structures. The owners of the marquee usually provide these, otherwise, through the Victorian Building Authority.
  2. Contact Council's Municipal Building Surveyor on (03) 5422 0333 to apply for a Prescribed Temporary Structure Siting Approval.  

Applicants will be advised if an Occupancy Permit and Siting Approval is required for any temporary structure at their event.