Host your event Bellingen Shire

 The resources and advice provided here will assist you to stage a successful event including approvals, resources, grants, contacts, planning information and more. Click on the following links to access all the tools & resources you will require and start planning your event.



The Events Hub is a collaboration of local event organisers supported by Bellingen Shire Council.  A representation of the event industry approached Bellingen Shire Council in 2013 as they felt they required further support from the local community, including businesses and Council, if events and festivals in the Shire were to continue to thrive.

As a result the Events Hub was opened in May 2014 within the Waterfall Way Visitor Information Centre in Bellingen. Ongoing development of the Events Hub is overseen by a steering committee of local event organisers and Council staff. The steering committee work on behalf of the event industry to ensure the shire of Bellingen remains a successful and thriving event destination.

The Events Hub provides assistance for event and festival organisers. Whether you are running an existing event or staging a new event, the Hub provides a range of resources to assist. This includes information on venues, suppliers, grants, mentors, volunteers and best practice research. The Events Hub has access to an Event Economic Impact Calculator which assists in understanding the economic benefit of your event. The Hub can also be used as a temporary office space in preparing or running your event.  If you have any questions on how the Events Hub can help – make an enquiry HERE.


Bellingen Shire Council recognises the value of our creative industries – both culturally and economically.  Not all events require a Development Application (DA) however should it be needed, Council aims to ensure that the development event approval process for events and festivals is as efficient as possible.  It is therefore important to seek approval from Council a minimum of four months prior to any event – longer is preferable.

Step 1 – Complete and lodge the Proposal to Stage an Event Form

Please complete the Proposal to Stage an Event.  This will allow Council representatives to determine the requirements of your event and if a DA or other approvals are required.

Event Hub Proposal-to-Stage-an-Event-Form

Step 2 – Meet with Council

Council will advise you if any further approvals are required for your event.  If so it is recommended that you meet with one of our Duty Planners especially if you are required to lodge a DA for your event.   Staff are available Monday to Friday 8.30am – 12.00pm at Bellingen Shire Council – no appointment is necessary.  A Duty Planner will advise :

  • if a DA or other approvals are required
  • what information needs to be provided with the DA or other approval
  • an estimate on the timeframe for assessing the DA or other approval

If a DA is required Council recommends that you attend a Development Control Unit (DCU) meeting. These meetings assist by providing specific, detailed advice on planned events and festivals.  Advice will be provided on specific elements of the event, for example, traffic management and waste management requirements.  To make an appointment for a DCU meeting follow this link:

DCU Information and Appointments

The Economic and Business Development Manager can attend DCU meetings with event applicants. The Unit can also assist with a range of activities including marketing, identifying suitable venues, stakeholder engagement and business mentoring.

Contact the Economic Development Unit on 02 6655 7300.

Step 3 – Prepare necessary documentation

If a DA is required download a copy of the DA Checklist for Events and a copy of the DA.  This checklist will assist you to ensure that you are submitting all the information that is required for your DA to be considered.

As a regulator, Council is bound to consider all relevant legislation in considering approval for any event.  Similarly, approval requires consent from the owner or authority of any land, road or waterway which will be impacted. A DA cannot be considered by Council without land owner’s consent being in place.

Other approvals may also be required for things such as the sale or provision of food as well as alterations to traffic conditions.  You will be advised once you lodge the Proposal-to-Stage-an-Event-Form

Events Checklist and Information  

Development  Application Form

Step 4 – Submit your application to Council

Once you have completed the DA (or other approval) and gathered the required supporting documentation you should submit the application to Council. It is best to do this in person.  This allows Council to check that you have provided all the necessary information and explain if anything is still required.

Note:  If your Development Application is approved, check to see what conditions might be placed on the approval. All conditions listed on the consent need to be complied with.


The Bellingen Shire is an ideal location for events and festivals with a variety of venues that may be suitable for your proposed event. Both privately owned venues as well as Council halls, centres, parks and sporting facilities are available.   If you require assistance identifying the right venue for your event contact the Events Hub HERE.

Event Venues
Click here: Event Hub Venues to download a list of venues within the Bellingen shire.

Council Managed Venues
Booking Contacts for Council venues are located HERE.


Generally all public events will require event insurance (public liability insurance).  Organisations or groups planning to host an event should hold insurance prior to making an application to Council.  It is important that you check with your insurance broker that the nature of the event is covered under your policy.  Council requires a minimum of $10million in cover and must be listed as an interested party on all Certificates of Currency.  You should lodge a copy of your certificate of currency with your Proposal to Stage an Event.

You will need to check the individual insurance requirements of non-Council venues.

You may also be required to ensure that vendors that you engage for your event (such as food or amusement) hold insurance as well.  Details of what is required will be provided to you once your Proposal-to-Stage-an-Event-Form is processed.


Volunteers can be an integral part of many events and festivals.  The Events Hub can assist you to source volunteers by promoting to existing volunteer groups and other contacts.

Consider providing incentives for your volunteers such as giving them a complimentary ticket to your event.


Planning an event can be a comprehensive, time consuming and exhaustive task.  Regardless of whether your event is a community event run by volunteers or a commercial event aiming to make a profit, there are a number of planning tools available to assist you.

The State Government has an events starter guide which can assist you in planning and staging your event.

State Government Assistance

Destination NSW also has resources that may be useful for you as an event organiser. Find out more HERE. also has a range of tool and templates to get you started. Find out more HERE.


It is recommended that you engage the services of a professional and reputable security company for your event.  They will be able to advise you on what level of security you require in relation to the type of activities you undertake.

See the list of suppliers for suggested companies here:  Events Hub Suppliers-September-2016


Sourcing local, professional and cost effective suppliers is paramount to running a successful event.  We have put together a list of suggested suppliers for a range of event related goods and services to assist you with the task.

This list is by no means complete but is a reference tool to get you started.

Click here: Events Hub Suppliers  to download a list of suppliers.

Bellingen Shire Council has two mobile drinking water stations that are available for use by event organisers. Complete and submit the below application.  A certificate of currency for public liability insurance needs to be supplied with the application. Drink Station application form here Events Hub Booking Form – Mobile Drinking Water Stations.


Securing grants or other funding can go a long way to help a new event get off the ground and event organisers should consider this a priority when planning for their event. Consider the following avenues for revenue raising for your event.


Grant funding for events is available from a number of different sources depending on the size, scale and who the event will benefit.  It is important that you allow yourself sufficient time to research appropriate grants and also to complete the application.

To get you started the Events Hub have put together information for you regarding grants and where to source them.



A common way to get funding for your festival is to obtain sponsorship from your community. These can be monetary donations or in kind sponsorship (i.e. donations in return for advertising).

Local producers and retailers may not be in a position to donate money but could provide product instead. For example, bakeries, supermarkets, fruit and vegetable suppliers and cafes/restaurants could donate goods & services.


Organisations are always looking for ways to connect with their customers in the communities where their products and services are available. Many organisations have a budget to sponsor charitable events including festivals. The best way to attract corporate sponsors to your festival is to prepare a sponsorship letter Sponsorship-Introduction-Letter and detailed sponsorship proposal outlining the specific benefits the company will receive in return for their sponsorship such as signage, booth location, ad placement, exposure before the day/on the day etc. They will need to know visitor demographics and the amount of traffic you expect at your event.

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Organising an event and still need help? CONTACT US.