Having a clear vision for your event will help with your planning, promotion and marketing, however it will also help you identify a number of areas that may require some sort of licence, permit or approval.

It is always a good idea to think about these things as early as possible so can you make provision for this in your budget, and allow enough time to seek relevant approvals.

Whilst some of these topics have been covered earlier in the Events Guide, below is a handy checklist of things you will need to consider:

Liquor Licence

Events that propose the sale or consumption of alcohol will need to contact Liquor and Gaming NSW to determine liquor licensing requirements. You should also contact the local Licensing Officer at Coffs Harbour Police Station to discuss your proposal.

Depending on the type of licence you want, some applications will require a community impact statement (CIS), Liquor and Gaming NSW, will help you determine the most appropriate licence for your event. ​

A liquor license will require approval in writing from the owner of the land on which you propose to hold your event.

Food Vendors

Food will often be a key component to attracting patrons to your event. The event organiser is responsible for ensuring each food vendor attending the event has supplied the following information before attending an event:

  • Evidence of food business notification with Coffs Harbour City Council, another local government authority or (in the case of those businesses who require a licence, such as primary producers), the NSW Food Authority
  • Where available, a copy of a food safety inspection report, issued by a regulatory authority, no more than 12 months old.
  • A copy of a current Food Safety Supervisor Certificate, issued by NSW Food Authority.
  • Public Liability Insurance

NB: charities or not for profit groups are exempt the first three of these requirements.

The event organiser must keep an up-to-date list of all the food vendors attending the event and provide this information to Council’s Environmental Health Team  by completing the ‘Record of Non-fixed Food Vendors at Market/Events’ form, which is available on councils website food pages.  The form should be returned to council no later than ten working days before the event so Officers can determine if food safety inspections will be required.

NB: If food is solely provided by charities or not for profit groups and is low risk or is cooked and immediately served, such as sausage sizzles, then the vendors do not need to have notified Council and may not have Food Safety Supervisor certificates and inspection reports, however they still need to meet safe food handling requirements.

The event organiser must also ensure each food stall is supplied with clear access to an adequate supply of potable water (if hoses are used, they must be food grade. Garden hoses are not suitable for food potable water transfer) and ample facilities for waste disposal (including general rubbish and wastewater).

Click on the Food Business Link to visit Councils website for more information on requirements associated with food service at events.

Food Authority NSW has developed a handy guide: Guideline for Food business at Temporary Events which we recommend familiarising yourself with.

Music Licenses

Most music is protected by Copyright and if you are playing live or pre-recorded music that is covered by Copyright you are required by law to obtain a permit by the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) www.apra.com.au

Recorded music is protected by two types of copyright so you will need to obtain a licence from both APRA and the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (www.ppca.com.au). These can generally be obtained within three working days.

For more information visit their websites or contact:

APRA: 1300 852 388

PPCA: 02 8569 1111

Filming Permit

Where any filming is taking place in the public domain or on Council owned land a filming permit will be required. Filming Permits are generally free of charge, however in cases where additional permits need to be in place (e.g. Road Closures) relevant costs may be incurred. 

For more information on filming permits contact Coffs Harbour City Council on 02 6648 4000

Entertainment Tips  


It’s advisable to have contracts in place with entertainers as often there are a variety of expenses such as travel, meals and accommodation and it will need to be clear as to who will be covering these costs.

Legal advice should be sought when developing contracts. There are many sample contracts available online, however the Arts Law Centre has sample contracts that can be purchased to assist in developing a contract.



All Fireworks must be carried out by a licensed pyro technician who must notify WorkCover and Council no less than seven working days before any fireworks display, with any other stakeholders notified a minimum of 2-days out (Police, Fire Department etc.). They must also complete the Notification of Fireworks Display Form and provide this with a Risk Assessment and Safe Work Method Statement. A processing fee is also payable.



Certain amusement devices require approvals to be in place prior to being able to operate at events.

Approval generally involves inspections to ensure the appropriate insurances are in place and that log books are up-to-date.

All entertainers, performers and service providers to your event will require public liability insurance while at your event. See Section 7: Risk Management for more information on insurances.


Notification of Skin Penetration Procedures

Events that propose to include skin penetration procedures to be undertaken such as tattoos, piercings, body modification, waxing etc as defined by the Public Health Act, will be required to notify Council’s Health team.

Guidance on skin penetration and NSW Public Health Act requirements can be found on the NSW Health website.

Please contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on (02) 6648 4000, during the early planning stages of your event, to discuss the health requirements for skin penetration practices.