Holding small gatherings and events in parks and public spaces

Project Status: When you need to do this

Small gatherings

Small gatherings include activities such as birthday parties, picnics, neighbourhood get-togethers for residents and community groups.

You do not need to apply or book to hold small gatherings provided you aren’t bringing infrastructure into a park or public space. This includes furniture, equipment, marquees or jumping castles.

Gatherings that include infrastructure are classified as a temporary outdoor event. You will need to apply and book for the event.

Note, you cannot apply or book public spaces for privately enclosed events that are not open to the public. Also, we cannot reserve barbecues, playgrounds or other City of Sydney furniture.

Temporary outdoor events

Temporary outdoor events are activities such as wedding ceremonies, community festivals and events, live music performances, school sports carnivals, charitable collections, parades, product sampling and activations.

Temporary outdoor events may be free of charge or ticketed, but must be open to the public to participate. You cannot apply or book public spaces for privately enclosed events that are not open to the public.

You can apply to hold a temporary outdoor event at most of our parks, sports fields or public spaces, and we can provide advice on the suitability of your event, desired location and availability.

Most temporary outdoor events running for up to 30 days do not need further planning approval. This includes events that use infrastructure such as marquees, stages, signs and other operational equipment. For longer duration events, talk to us about what other requirements might apply.

Wedding ceremonies

You'll need to apply and book to hold a wedding ceremony at one of our parks and public spaces. Some special rules apply to wedding ceremonies:

  • Weddings are booked in 3-hour blocks. We allow half an hour between each booking.
  • Guest numbers are limited to 35, including the wedding party.
  • You can bring up to 30 chairs, a carpet and 1 table into the booked space.
  • You cannot bring catering, more event infrastructure or vehicles into the space.
  • If you book a park with a rotunda, including Observatory Park, you have exclusive use of the rotunda during your booking. You do not have private use of the rest of the park or open space and these areas remain open to the general public.
  • Wedding ceremonies are not permitted in Paddington Reservoir Gardens.
  • You do not need a permit or approval to take wedding photos on the same day as the ceremony, but drones cannot be used in all spaces.

Need help?

If you have questions before you apply, contact our open space bookings team.

phone number
02 9265 9333
email address
[email protected]

What you need to do

Small gatherings

If you are not bringing in infrastructure all you need to do is turn up and enjoy.

Keep in mind that our parks and public spaces are shared spaces, and other events and activities may be taking place nearby.

Temporary events

  1. Complete the event application form.
  2. Include a copy of your associated public liability insurance certificate with your application.
Event application formPDF · 108.59 KB · Last modified

Wedding ceremonies

  1. To make a booking, complete the park/open spaces wedding ceremony application.
Park/open spaces wedding ceremony applicationPDF · 89.9 KB · Last modified

Guidelines for holding outdoor events

Our regulations and procedures.

Event guidelinesPDF · 357.54 KB · Last modified
Martin Place event guidelinesPDF · 758.55 KB · Last modified
Pitt Street Mall event guidelinesPDF · 349.38 KB · Last modified

Need help?

If you have questions before you apply, contact our open space bookings team.

phone number
02 9265 9333
email address
[email protected]

Land ownership

Our area includes some precincts that require applications and permits from other authorities.

Guides

How to ensure your event is sustainable, inclusive and accessible.