Ballarat event application guide

Ballarat has many parks, waterways, and sporting reserves that can be used for a wide range of events and activities. To manage these on behalf of our community, event organisers (those responsible for planning and delivering the event), must apply to the City of Ballarat for a permit to use the public space (venue).

Image of people at an event in Ballarat

Complete the event application form

Fill out the online application form to start the process to register your event. You will need to provide information such as event name and location, event dates, set up and pack up times (bump in and bump out) and detail any required infrastructure you will be utilising. 

If the event has occurred in the past then providing historic information (such as when the event was held and where it was located) can be very helpful for City of Ballarat staff to determine exactly which permits you will require. The more information and attachments (such as site map) you supply at the time of application, the easier and faster the process will be. 

Complete the event application form online

What do I need to know to run my event?

In most cases, we will need detailed information supporting your event application. We need this to make sure:

•    the venue is reserved for your event,
•    the venue is right for your event,
•    the event will be delivered safely for everyone attending; and
•    the event will not damage or impact the environment*.

*Every event and activity using City of Ballarat land must return the space in the same condition as it existed before the event or activity.

As well as needing a permit to run your event on City of Ballarat-managed land, some activities and types of infrastructure (marquees, stages, etc.) will also need permits from the City of Ballarat and/or the relevant State Government departments.

Below you will find information to help you with ensuring your venue is reserved for your activity, your event is safely delivered, and all your legal needs are met.

Organise your Event in four easy steps

  1. Reserve your venue
    The first step in using any public space for your event is to reserve the venue. (If you don’t reserve it with us, then anyone can reserve the space to use before or during your event). Further information on how to do this can be found below at ‘How to reserve your venue’.
  2. Submit your application
    Once you have reserved your venue, complete the Event Application Form along with any supporting documentation. Once submitted online, the application goes to our Event Coordination Group (ECG).
  3. Receive your permits
    The ECG will review your application and once it is satisfied the event and location is suitable, you will be sent all necessary permits (some costs may be involved). Once a permit has been issued, your venue reservation will be booked in.
  4. Run your event
    Now you can run your event as you detailed in your application.

Please note:

  • You should reserve your venue as soon as you know where and when you wish to hold your event.
  • You should submit your event application at least 12 weeks before your event.
  • Large or major events should submit an event application at least six months before the event.

What permits do I need?

Please note: all permits must be kept onsite during the event with the nominated event organiser (permit holder). Non-compliance with any of the conditions or requirements of the permit will invalidate the event permit.

Fireworks and pyrotechnics

A person must not conduct fireworks displays or otherwise ignite fireworks without a permit and only licensed pyrotechnicians may be issued a permit. This permit process may take up to three months and involves City of Ballarat as well as several state government departments.

Serving or providing food

Only registered and licensed food vendors can sell and/or provide food to the public. This includes food businesses and community groups that sell food from a temporary site, such as a stall, van, trailer, community hall, or vending machine, sausage sizzles, fete cake stalls, and other small food arrangements. Food businesses must maintain an existing Victorian Food Act registration and lodge a statement of trade (SOT) to let all relevant councils know where and when they will be trading. This must be done online though the Foodtrader website.

As an event organiser you will need to tell us the vendors that will be serving food and drinks at your event. To help your vendors in lodging a Statement of Trade we have a Food Vendors and Event Organisers Guide with helpful advice.

If you have food and/or food vendors at your event, we recommend talking with our Environmental Health team well before the start of your event. Our Environmental Health team can be contacted on 5320 5702.

Serving or providing alcohol

Any event that intends to serve/sell alcohol must apply for a liquor licence from the Department of Justice.

Clubs or organisations that currently hold a permit to serve alcohol may need an extension to their licence if they are serving outside of their existing permit. This may include serving outside their club rooms, to non-members and/or outside their normal hours of operation.

Events will also need a permit from our Environmental Health team (see 'serving or providing food' above).

For further information visit the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation's website.

Amplified music / public address system

Community Local Law 2017 restricts the use of amplified equipment unless a permit for it has been issued. For large events an approved Noise Management Plan may be needed to lessen impact on surrounding occupants and residents.

For advice and more information contact our Environmental Health team on 5320 5702.

For large music events, compliance with the State Environment Protection Policy (Control of Music Noise from Public Premises) is needed.

Please see the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website for more information.

Animal farms and jumping castles

Animal farms and jumping castles require a Local Laws Event permit, even if they offer free entry. If they are part of a larger Event, they can be included in the Event Permit.

Temporary structures

Each of the following temporary structures will need an Occupancy (temporary building) Permit;

  • grandstand style tiered/bank seating with more than 20 seats
  • marquees or prefabricated buildings with a floor area greater than 100m2
  • stages or platforms exceeding 150m2.

Generally, the hire company supplying these large structure(s) will apply for the Occupancy Permit, but you should check in and make sure that they do so.

Please note: you cannot use tent pegs, fencing, or other forms of spikes on nearly all public land. Contact the relevant venue manager for more information.

Ticketed and/or fenced events

If an event is charging admission and/or is held in an area that is enclosed or substantially enclosed, it may require a Place of Public Entertainment (PoPE) permit.
This permit application process can be quite detailed, and it is recommended that if your event requires a PoPE, contact our Building Department should be contacted on 5320 5563. 

Temporary road closure

Any event such as running, walking, or cycling needing to manage traffic must have a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) from the City of Ballarat. It is strongly recommended that you engage  an accredited traffic management company to design a Traffic Management Plan (TMP), which will form the basis of the MOA documentation. Furthermore, an MOA from VicRoads may also be needed if events are undertaken on an arterial road.

For more information contact our Asset Management team on 5320 5500.

Where an event does not need road closure(s) but may present a risk to traffic and/or pedestrians, or otherwise impacts on the normal road and car parking use, a TMP must be written to show how the risk(s) will be limited Detailing location of signage and devices, pavement markings, barriers, arrow boards  and/or variable message signage and roadwork speed zones. 

Placing signage

If you intend to place promotional or advertising signs before or during your event, you will need a permit. This also includes the display of goods, whether for promotion or sale.

Helpful information

Toilet facilities

Every event should aim to provide enough toilets. For small events, public toilets may be suitable but larger events usually need to hire additional portable toilet units.

Depending on the number of people present at any time (and whether the event is licensed) will decide how many toilets will be needed. The number of persons should include the general public, participants, contractors, vendors, and the event employees.

The general rule for non-licensed events is:

  • One closet fixture for every 200 female patrons or part thereof.
  • One closet fixture or urinal for every 200 male patrons or part thereof, at least 30% of which must be closet fixtures.
  • One wheelchair accessible toilet is needed for every 100 closet fixtures or part thereof. The wheelchair accessible toilet can be either one unisex unit, or one male and one female closet fixture where facilities for males and females are provided separately.

Public liability

Every event conducted on public land must hold current public liability insurance to the value of at least $20 million. A copy of your current Public Liability Certificate of Currency will need to be submitted with your event application. Additional insurance certificates may be required if your event incorporates electronic rides, petting zoos, jumping castles etc. 

Drinking water

It is recommended that one drinking water fountain/tap be provided for every 200 persons. Drinking water may also be provided at food and bar outlets.

Rubbish management

Event organisers will need to manage waste generated from their event. It is generally not appropriate to rely on street bins for this. Also consider recycling bins and what your event can do to reduce waste.

The City of Ballarat may be able to provide additional bins for your event (charges may be incurred). In Ballarat, there are also two great contractors who can help with waste management. You can contact Suez Ballarat on 13 13 35 or Cleanaway Ballarat on 4334 3700 to arrange rubbish management for your event.

If you have questions about waste management and your event, please contact our Customer Service team on 5320 5500 and ask to chat with our Environment team. 

Gas bottles

Any gas cylinders used at your event must comply with AS 1596-1989 and AG601-1995 regulations, and should be checked and approved before to your event by Energy Safe Victoria.

Visit the Energy Safe Victoria website for more information.

A safe event

All reasonable care should be taken to ensure your event is safe for all involved. This includes event staff, volunteers, performers, the audience, and the public in surrounding areas.

There are resources online to help event managers plan safe events. Visit Work Safe Victoria for more information.

Compliance with issued permits

Authorised Officers may need to enter your event to ensure all permit requirements are being met. If you have any specific considerations about this, they should be outlined in your event application, this may include the provision of entry/security passes.

How to reserve your venue

To reserve City of Ballarat-managed land as a venue for your event we will need some general information about your event. This is to ensure your proposed venue is appropriate, can accommodate your activity safely, and is available.

Please contact our teams listed below and let them know the:

  • type of event
  • activities you are planning for your event
  • number of people expected to attend (include staff, contractors, and others)
  • time, date, and length of your event.

Once you have successfully placed a reservation on your venue, your next step is to complete the event application.


Event reservation directory

Sports grounds

Contact the Recreation Officer - Venue Bookings on 5320 5500 or 

Parks and other open space

Contact the Business Support Assistant on 5320 5500

Lake Wendouree and Botanical Garden Precinct*

Contact the Parks and Gardens team on 5320 5193.

The Lake Wendouree and Botanic Garden Precinct includes:

  • Ballarat Botanical Gardens
  • Buninyong Botanic
  • Lake Wendouree Foreshore
  • Victoria Park
  • Eureka Stockade Memorial Park

*If you are organizing a wedding in the Lake Wendouree and Botanical Garden Precinct contact the Robert Clark Centre on 5320 5133 or