– Step 1: Declare the event before organizing it
– Step 2: Complete the steps if it is a competition
– Step 3: Respect the decision of the authority to which you have submitted your declaration
– Step 4: Secure your cultural event
You wish to organize a cultural event of a festive, sporting or charitable nature (carnival, parade, sport, neighbours’ day, race, marathon). Any event on the public highway must be subject to formalities in order to be organized.
Here are the steps to follow to organize an event.
1. Declare the event before organizing it
It is mandatory to declare the event you wish to organize.
To whom should the event be declared?
The cultural event must be declared to the competent authorities, namely
the town hall of the municipality or the town halls of the various cities on whose territory the event is to take place, the national police, with a specific file, when the event is to take place.
When to declare it?
You must file the declaration of the planned event at least 3 clear days and at most 15 clear days before the date of the event.
Good to know: in case of an event gathering more than 1,500 people, a specific declaration is required one year before the date of the event, a period reduced by one month in case of emergency.
What must the declaration contain?
Your declaration must contain:
– A letter of request for temporary occupation of the public domain specifies the event’s purpose, the location(s) of the event, and the number of people expected to attend.
– A list of the organizing team members (specifying their first name, last name, and address) for each member.
– The itinerary of the event involves the movement of people (parade, procession, etc.). In the case of passage over land or property belonging to a private person, written agreements from the owners must be presented.
Who must sign the declaration?
The letter must be signed by:
– the president or a delegated member of the association;
– by three persons responsible for the event’s organization, residing in the department where the event is taking place.
Good to know: the mayor is authorized to impose an administrative fine for illegal occupation of the public domain by a merchant.
2. Complete the steps if it is a competition
The organization of competition requires additional steps like below.
If the event is a competition with a ranking
The event must be the subject of an additional request for authorization from the competent authorities of the sports federation concerned. The procedures and deadlines to be respected are indicated by the sports federation concerned.
If the event is not a non-classified competition
The event must be the subject of an additional application to each department and the police.
– In the case of a circuit or course (running, rollerblading, cycle touring, etc.): fill in an application for authorization using a form, at least 3 months before the event;
– If there is no circuit or course: fill in a declaration form at least 1 month before the event.
– In all honesty, to tell you, I do not have the link to the form, so if you manage to have the link, thank you for putting it in the comment part below.
3. Respect the decision of the authority to which you have submitted your declaration
The authority to whom you have sent your declaration can take one of the following decisions:
– Unconditional authorization: in the absence of a response to the request, the event is presumed to be authorized.
– Conditional authorization: authorization may be given if a certain number of commitments are met (payment of a fee, modification of the route, change of schedule, insurance, etc.).
– Prohibition of the event: the prohibition can only be motivated by the maintenance of public order.
Important: Organizing a public event without authorization or falsifying a declaration to obtain consent is punishable by imprisonment and a fine. Taking part in a prohibited demonstration on the public highway is also punishable by a fine.
You can challenge the decision by filing a petition with the administrative judge. The request can be made within the framework of a summary injunction so that the appeal is examined in less than 48 hours.
4. Secure your cultural event
The organizing association must respect and ensure the respect of existing processes concerning public events safety, hygiene and sanitation rules, respect to the closing time, respect of surveillance rules, and a possible limitation of the number of participants and any other rule specific to the planned events.
On the public highway, you must ensure the free movement of vehicles and people and the absence of nuisances linked to the event’s equipment, the respect of the maintenance of order, the health and safety of participants.
Even if the town hall authorizes you to close streets to traffic, you must provide access corridors for safety and emergency vehicles (3 or 4 meters wide).
The security service
It would help plan your security organization, but the mayor may ask that official police forces complete your security service.
In collaboration with the police, you must plan and indicate bypass routes. If necessary, make sure that a parking space proportional to the expected public is provided.
Restoration of the site
You must take the necessary measures to ensure that the public area is left in the same condition before the event (e.g., cleaning the street).
If you are organizing a refreshment stand
Any association can apply for a temporary liquor store during an event.
The sale can only concern drinks from the first two groups, namely
– group 1: non-alcoholic beverages (mineral or carbonated water, unfermented fruit juices, lemonades, infusions, etc.);
– group 2: limited alcoholic beverages (wine, cider, beer, mead, naturally sweet wines, fermented fruit juice).
These authorizations can be granted for the duration of the event.