Providing equitable access at your event is an important consideration. To assist you to deliver an event that everyone can enjoy, visit the Queensland Government Disability Connect QD web page and download Fact sheet 1: Creating inclusive and accessible events.
For more information about event organisers’ obligations under anti-discrimination legislation contact the Queensland Human Rights Commission or Australian Human Rights Commission.
As participation in public events has become part of modern life, there is an expectation that events will be enjoyable, well organised and safe. Alcohol is often seen as a symbol of celebration and is included as part of festivities at many public events.
For all questions in relation to adding liquor to your event, please contact the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR) on:
Phone: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)
Street address: 7 Short Street, Southport, Queensland
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm
If you are planning on supplying liquor on public land, an Alcohol, Safety and Event Management Plan must be completed and submitted. Please note, it may take up to 38 business days to process any liquor application (21 days for a Community Liquor Permit / 28 Days for a Commercial Public Event Permit for OLGR and 10 days for the City of Gold Coast). You are able to submit applications to OLGR for assessment and to City of Gold Coast for endorsement, at the same time.
Organisers are encouraged to submit applications as early as possible to allow sufficient time for processing liquor permits.
You should also contact your local police station to discuss the inclusion of liquor at your event and to ensure your event patrons benefit from a successful and safe event.
All temporary structures (including temporary tiered seating to provide viewing facilities, tents/marquees to provide shelter and platforms/supports for performers, such as stages) must meet the safety expectations set out by the Australian Building Codes Board in the Temporary Structures Standard 2015.
The Standard is intended for use in the design, construction and use of temporary structures. It provides criteria for structural safety (particularly determining appropriate wind actions), fire safety (including fire resistance of materials, fire safety services and equipment, and egress), access, sanitary facilities and certain ancillary provisions.
You must complete the Checklist for assembled structures for all relevant temporary structures more than 100 square metres and provide this to the City upon request.
If any tents/marquees are more than 100 square metres but less than 500 square metres and will remain in place for not more than four weeks, you must ensure compliance with the Queensland Development Code (Part 3.0 Special buildings, MP3.2 Tents). This code outlines structural requirements for design, construction and use. All tents/marquees must also be certified by a registered professional engineer who is registered under the Queensland Professional Engineers Act (Qld) 2002. . We recommend obtaining a copy of the engineer’s professional indemnity insurance.
When organising or managing an event that includes the display of films, publications or computer games, you must consider and abide by state and federal classification laws. This includes:
Advertising – all printed / digital advertisements of the event must:
- display the correct classification marking and the consumer advice
- display the marking on the lower left corner on the front face or close to the title
- ensure the marking is prominent and easy to see and read
- where displayed on a screen, markings must be displayed for a sufficient amount of time to allow the marking to be read in full.
At the event:
- Classification information must be visible to all members of the public at the event. The classification code must be displayed near the title of the publication and must be legible, easily distinguished and not obstructed by other material. When the classification marking is displayed on screen, it must be visible for enough time for people to read it.
- You must ensure that where a publication is rated MA 15+, people attending the event aged between two and 14 are not present without an adult. For screenings that are rated R 18+, you must ensure that people under 18 are not present.
- Advertisements during an event - you must ensure that any advertisements exhibited during a screening of a film are not classified higher than the film being screened.
- Unclassified material - if you have materials that have not been classified, you should have them classified before screening them. Contact the producer of the material for classification or apply to the Classification Board.
Where you are found to breach the classification laws, you may be ordered to pay a monetary penalty (under the Classification of Films Act 1991 (Qld) s20). For further information, please contact the Department of Communication and the Arts.
For any public event that includes the use of gas appliances, liquefied petroleum gas cylinders and gas systems, you must ensure that the following two critical gas safety requirements are observed:
- gas appliances are approved for supply, installation and use
- installation work is only conducted by an appropriately qualified and licensed person.
Only gas appliances that are suitable to the type and nature of the public event are to be used and all prescribed gas related incidents must be reported to Work Health and Safety Queensland and the Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate.
Refer to the Department of Natural Resources Mines and Energy's Guideline for Managing Gas Safety at Public Events to ensure use is in line with best practice recommendations and for guidance on the reporting process and prescribed incidents triggering a reporting obligation.
To provide clarity and consistency in gas safety expectations you are encouraged to provide a gas safety checklist to vendors. The checklist is to be completed by vendors prior to the event for you to retain a copy of as part of your event records.
An Event Management Plan is an essential planning and management tool for the safe and successful delivery of an event. This guide has been developed to help assist Event Managers with their planning and may be requested by City of Gold Coast, Queensland Police Service and a variety of other stakeholders.
Download the Event Management Plan.
Written approval shall be obtained from the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy should any pyrotechnic display be proposed as part of the event. Please contact this department on 07 3330 4171 or email@example.com.
Fireworks displays cannot be conducted on Council controlled land when Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have imposed a fire ban for the Gold Coast. For current fire ban information visit Queensland Government Rural Fire Service.
The Queensland Government provides additional information on firework displays.
The management of waste at events is an important consideration, whether the event is small or large. Please consider becoming waste wise when planning your event.
Being waste wise doesn’t have to cost you more money, and it can reduce your event’s carbon footprint, save resources and help keep the Gold Coast clean and green.
City of Gold Coast is in the process of developing waste wise guidelines, but a comprehensive Waste Wise Event Toolkit is available now from New South Wales EPA.
The event planning fact sheet, available below, is a guide for event organisers who are planning an outdoor event at a City of Gold Coast site and highlights important factors to consider before, during and after an event, including waste management, recycling and adequate provision of toilet facilities. Reading this guide will help to ensure your event is a success. Download the Event planning fact sheet.
The Queensland Government has released the latest Roadmap to easing Queensland's restrictions which allows more events to occur, in line with the below guidelines:
- Fewer than 1500 people – no Queensland Health approval needed when following a COVID Safe Event Checklist.
- 1500 to 10,000 people – need a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by local Public Health unit.
- Over 10,000 people – need a COVID Safe Event Plan approved by the Queensland Chief Health Officer.
The Queensland Government has also released the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events which sets out the public health principles and provides event-specific strategies that event organisers should follow in order to organise COVID safe events.
All event organisers are responsible for considering and adhering to the most up-to-date COVID-19 information as part of your planning for your event.
As part of the approval process and in addition to the application form and standard event documentation, the City of Gold Coast will request:
- The relevant approval or checklist for your event (as determined by the number of people attending your event – as listed in above and section 2.3 of the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events.)
- A site map that adheres to Section 3.7 of the Industry Framework.
- If less than 1500 attendees, a copy of your completed/signed COVID Safe Event Checklist and COVID Safe Event Plan for the event detailing your specific strategies and plans to manage/mitigate COVID-19 risks.
- If more than 1500 attendees, a copy of your COVID Safe Event Plan (approved by the relevant authority.) detailing your specific strategies and plans to manage/mitigate COVID-19 risks.
- If relevant, advice regarding which Approved COVID Safe Industry Plan (*refer below) you are opting-in to and the Statement of Compliance for that plan.
- Signed statement of compliance relevant to your event (if not opting into an approved COVID Safe Industry Plan), found within the Industry Framework.
*Where an activity is covered by an Approved COVID Safe Industry Plan you should refer to the relevant Plan to determine if it adequately covers your event and if so, identify the requirements that apply to your event. If you are anticipating numbers greater than 1000 pax at the event, event organisers must notify the local public health unit a minimum of 10 business days prior to the event taking place via GCPHU-EOC@health.qld.gov.au. All approved plans are listed on the Queensland Government's website.
In addition to following these Plans, the key public health principles and event specific strategies set out in the Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events should be considered, incorporated and implemented into your planning. e.g. if you run a surfing event, you may elect to 'opt-in' to the Aquatic Sport Sector Industry Plan and follow the relevant guidelines. However you also need to consider any relevant guidelines in the Industry Framework.
For information on Gold Coast tourism and accommodation options, check out Destination Gold Coast.
Tourism & Events Queensland – event marketing toolkit
A comprehensive resource detailing everything you need to promote your event.
Help promote the Gold Coast as an events destination
You can play your part in continuing to make the Gold Coast a premier events destination by using some of the following messages.
Feel free to use any of these messages on your event website, in media releases or marketing materials.
- The Gold Coast is a world-class events city.
- Events are a key pillar of our city’s economy.
- The Gold Coast offers world-class events in a world-class city.
- The Gold Coast is a vibrant events destination, hosting more than 900 events a year.
- Our events capture the essence of our city – they’re vibrant, diverse and energetic.
- Whatever your passion or interest, there's an event for everyone.
Find out how you can optimise your event promotion and attendance.
During the planning stages of your event you should consider if your identified site is considered an animal control area, as this could impact on your event. For example, if your site is dog prohibited, you may like to remind potential participants that it is an animal free event.
Some parks, reserves and beaches on the Gold Coast are designated as:
- off-leash dog exercise areas where dogs may be exercised off-leash but under effective control
- dog prohibited areas where dogs are not permitted.
Maps detailing the off-leash dog exercise areas and prohibited areas are available.
Pets at events
If you are going to allow dogs to attend your event please ensure your site is not designated as a dog prohibited area.
We also suggest you include the following pet rules:
- Only bring your pet along if it is well-behaved, non-aggressive and doesn't get stressed out in crowded, stimulating and noisy situations.
- Ensure your pet is on leash and under effective control at all times.
- Scoop the poop and bin it.
Please note: under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) and the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 guide, hearing and assistance dogs are permitted to accompany a person to all areas where event attendees are normally able to go. For more information on your obligations, visit the Queensland Government Guide, hearing and assistance dog – accessing public places.
As part of our commitment to promoting our high quality drinking water and reducing single use plastic bottles, community groups and event organisers on the Gold Coast now have the opportunity to access portable hydration stations for use at local community events. The loan of stations is free for eligible events – view eligibility criteria on the online form.
Make a booking enquiry using our online form:
Apply to loan portable hydration stations for an event
Getting patrons to and from your event easily and safely, makes for a more enjoyable event experience. Encourage your patrons to plan their journey to your event and use sustainable transport (walking, cycling, public transport, and carpooling).
To promote sustainable travel, consider adapting the following messages to suit your event and include in your publicity materials:
- We encourage patrons to use public and active transport to travel to and from the event.
- Staying or live locally? Walk, bike or skateboard to the event.
- Use the Translink journey planner to find out which scheduled bus, train and G:Link services are going to the event.
- Parking may be limited – consider carpooling to the event with family and friends.
- Don't drink and drive, organise a designated driver.
These messages could be included on the event website, on site maps, marketing materials or event tickets. The order you present your transport information should engage firstly with visitors to the Gold Coast, provide options for those that stay or live near the event venue and conclude with options for those who travel further. For example promote firstly walking and cycling, then public transport, taxi, carpooling and lastly parking.
As an event organiser you have record keeping responsibilities as prescribed by law (Local Government Act 2009 (Qld) s148G). This includes:
- keeping and storing records about the event
- recording the information as prescribed under law
- not, without reasonable excuse, deface, erase or obliterate an entry in a record or otherwise remove an entry from the record.
Risk is an important consideration when planning an event. Your risk management plan should identify all event risks and detail relevant control measures.
The Queensland Government has a range of event templates, including a risk management plan available on their website.
The Australian Government has developed a strategy for protecting crowded places from terrorism. Please refer to this information as part of your risk planning for the event.
A Traffic Management Plan (TMP) must be submitted to the City of Gold Coast for all events requesting a road closure or impacting roadways/footpaths/parking facilities.
The plan must:
- be prepared by a qualified Traffic Management Designer (TMD). A list of registered traffic management organisations with qualified TMD personnel can be accessed from Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads.
- be endorsed by Queensland Police.
- be endorsed by City of Gold Coast, Transport and Traffic branch.
- include detailed Traffic Guidance Schemes (TGS) where applicable.
Visit the Temporary Road Closures webpage for more detailed information and to download the Temporary Road Closure application form.
You will also need a Special Event Permit from the Queensland Police Service.
A site map is an essential component in both the planning and delivery stages of your event. It is recommended that you use an aerial photograph of the event site (available through Google maps) and include the placement of items such as:
- the boundary/fence line of the venue
- all infrastructure and equipment
- existing items at the site - buildings, toilet blocks, hazards, etc.
- entry and exit points
- location of first aid, lost kids, water, fire extinguishers
- licensed areas
- staging and marquees
- portable toilets and bins
- food stalls
- generators, lighting towers, site sheds and storage facilities.
View an example of an event site map.
Smoking is banned at common areas of events such as eating and drinking areas, near under 18 sporting areas, around skate parks, near children's playground equipment and at public transport waiting points, in order to protect the health of the community. To assist you to meet your obligations under the Tobacco and Other Smoke Products Act 1998 (Qld) pt 2C, you must:
- Establish designated smoking areas within the event area to restrict smoking to these areas;
- Put up highly visible signage such as No Smoking signs and Fresh Air-Zone signs at conspicuous and/or relevant locations where smoking is prohibited in the event area.
The event organiser is advised to liaise with the Gold Coast Public Health Unit of Queensland Health regarding the placement of smoking areas within the event boundaries on the days of the event. The contact details for the Gold Coast Public Health Unit are 07 5687 9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteering Queensland are the state peak body solely dedicated to advancing volunteering for the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of Queensland.
If you are interested in communicating with their database of volunteers for your event, please contact Volunteering Queensland on 07 3002 7616 or email email@example.com
Volunteering Gold Coast is one of the largest not-for-profit organisations on the Coast.
With over 20 years of experience in creating social impact and thousands of volunteer positions available, Volunteering Gold Coast can assist you sourcing volunteers for your event.
Get in touch today to become part of a diverse and powerful network for social change on the Gold Coast.