Events on Council owned or managed land

A valid Council-issued permit is required to host an event in a public space, including at a beach, park or reserve. It may take up to 6 weeks for Council to fully assess your application, so it is advisable to apply well in advance of your event.  

Council manages the use of our public spaces to ensure they can be used safely, adequately maintained and enjoyed by all.

Many types of events can be conducted on land owned and/or managed by Council in Kempsey Shire. Kempsey Shire Council recognises that this activity contributes to great and vibrant public spaces and provides value to both locals and visitors.

Types of events

Depending on their size, risk and type, events are classified as either:

  • major events (class 1, 2 and 3 events), or
  • minor or occasional events (class 3 and 4 events).

Major events

Major events are generally one-off events such as:

  • concerts and parades
  • carnivals or amusement rides
  • fireworks displays
  • helicopter rides
  • large events with multiple road closures

Major events require significant preparation to ensure they can be staged safely. This includes providing adequate infrastructure for patrons, including amenities, waste removal, lighting, security and COVID-19 compliance, gaining the relevant licence approvals, and setting up and setting down the event.

Minor or occasional events

Minor or occasional events include:

  • events held on sporting fields, whether for sporting activities or other uses
  • filming or drone flights
  • weddings
  • busking
  • fitness events

Regular markets require development approval and are not included in this event management category.

How much will it cost?

Application and event fees can be found in Council's Schedule of Fees and Charges(PDF, 2MB) - see Section 14, Events and Commercial Activities on Land Owned, Managed or Controlled by Council.

Major events

An application fee applies for all major events, plus a daily hire fee, a reduced fee for set-up and set down time, and a refundable bond to ensure that no damage occurs to the grounds or amenities.

Major events can correlate to the Class 1, 2 and 3 events as described in Kempsey Shire Council Procedure 1.2.2: Events Management(PDF, 668KB)

Minor events

All event organisers, whether commercial entities, not-for-profit groups or private individuals, will be required to pay an application fee, plus a daily hire or hourly hire fee for fitness groups.

Minor events can correlate to the Class 3 and 4 events as described in Kempsey Shire Council Procedure 1.2.2: Events Management(PDF, 668KB)


However, not-for-profit or community groups may request an exemption from the event hire fee by applying at least 6 weeks before the event.


In accordance with Kempsey Shire Council Procedure 1.2.1: Markets, Street Stalls and Buskers(PDF, 425KB), a busker is an entertainer who provides impromptu performances for the public by playing a music instrument, singing, dancing, clowning or juggling, reciting, miming or doing other acts of a similar nature in public places.

Busking permits are issued for a period of 3 or 12 months. 

How to apply

Please fill out the form for the event you would like to hold:

Busking Application Form

Event Application Form

Wedding Event Application Form

Commercial Activities on Council Owned or Managed Land(PDF, 717KB)

Appendix A & B(PDF, 552KB)

Once the application form has been submitted a Council Customer Service officer will respond within 14 working days. If there are any issues with your booking application, you will be contacted discuss, or provide more detail. 

Please note that your booking is only confirmed once you have received an approval from Council.

If you require any further information regarding your event, please phone 02 6566 3200 or email

Council assessment of your application

All applications will be carefully assessed. It may take up to 6 weeks to process complete applications. Council may consult any stakeholder or impacted party as part of the assessment process.

If, after you have lodged your application, further approvals are required, such as a development application (DA), Crown land approval or Native Title Assessment, a Council Customer Service officer will contact you. These extra approvals may also require additional applications and fees.


Event organisers and the community can expect a number of benefits from Council's Events Management policy:

  • Event holders are legally approved and entitled to operate in the nominated location(s).
  • Public spaces where commercial activities take place are well maintained.

More information