Festive Season Block Parties

 Von Diamond musicians. Picture by Sam Adams.jpg

Image: Von Diamond band Credit: Craig Opie

This festive season, groups of businesses have the opportunity to work together to hold a Block Party in their precinct with the support of the City of Hobart.

A Block Party is a four-hour event designed to increase visitation and activation in a retail area and to be held during the period 20 November to 20 December 2020.

Businesses will need to contribute initial concept ideas, actively market the event, prepare COVID-19 safety plans for their business and donate their time to work together on the event.  In return, the City of Hobart will provide funds and logistics support.

Expressions of interest are now open for businesses wanting to hold a Block Party in their precinct.  Read the Frequently Asked Questions and then submit your expression of interest.

For enquiries please contact events@hobartcity.com.au or phone (03) 6238 2890.

FAQs and how to submit an Expression of Interest

You can download the FAQs here(PDF, 305KB) .


Frequently asked questions and answers to help you plan your Block Party. 

What is a Block Party?

A Block Party is a four-hour event that has been designed to increase visitation and activation in a retail area and would be held during the period 20 November to 20 December 2020. The Block Party concept is a collaboration between businesses and the City of Hobart. A Block Party needs to be initiated and supported by collaborating local businesses and be approved by the council. If approved, the City of Hobart will coordinate and fund the logistics and operational details of the event. Businesses will need to contribute initial concept ideas, actively market the event, prepare COVID-19 safety plans for their business and donate their time to work together on the event.

Why are you running block parties?

By inviting the community into retail areas for a one off, unique experience, it is hoped this will increase economic benefits for traders during the upcoming festive season. At a time when retail has been impacted by COVID-19, the Block Party enables businesses to create a celebratory environment for their customers.

A Block Party could look like:

  • blocking off a series of parking bays to create a parklet where buskers and street performers can gather to entertain shoppers
  • setting up a series of pop up retail positions on the footpath outside existing shop fronts creating a hub for sidewalk sales
  • blocking off an entire street where people can gather to enjoy live music while being invited to browse adjacent retail shops
  • activating empty shop fronts to create a more visually appealing area
  • taking over an adjacent laneway to create a unique pop up eating and drinking experience.

Is the Block Party program part of a City of Hobart grant program?

No. City officers will draft a budget for your Block Party proposal and pay for infrastructure, suppliers and contractors directly.

How do I get a Block Party for my business?

The first step in the process is an Expression of Interest (EOI). A minimum of three businesses must agree to work together and with the council on a Block Party. In addition, you must also have consulted with neighbouring businesses so that there is general support.

How many businesses need to come together to submit an EOI?

Three retail businesses from within the same retail area.

How many block parties can I host?


How long is a Block Party?

Block parties can have a duration up to 4 hours and be held any time between 10 am and 9 pm. 

What role do I have in the concept and design of a Block Party?

Some groups may want to use an existing space like the footpath outside their shops, empty shopfronts around them or create a parklet. Others may want to close a road or use an adjacent laneway for their Block Party. 

Can I run a Block Party inside my business?

The Block Party must occur in a public space, with the exception of where it is held in an empty shopfront, so that the benefits of the party are shared amongst businesses and the community. It is important to remember that social distancing and government regulations in relation to COVID-19 will need to be adhered to.

Can we charge an entry fee to our Block Party?

No, but you can charge for products and goods that you sell.

What happens after the EOI closes?

Council officers will contact the three nominated businesses to confirm their commitment, which is a minimum requirement, and confirm there is general support within the precinct. We will then establish a process for working collaboratively with you on a plan for the Block Party.

Is there a limit to how many block parties will be held over the four week period?

The EOI process will give an indication of how many block parties might be held. Officers have a budget that has been approved by the Council and will need to share these funds in a fair manner between block parties. For this reason, some ideas for block parties may need a greater investment by the businesses themselves and that could be through in-kind support.

Council officers will also need to continue to abide by council policies and rules and this will become clear as plans for each Block Party are developed.

What support can we expect from the City of Hobart?

The City of Hobart has a small team of event professionals who will coordinate the following activities for your Block Party.

  • Risk assessment.
  • Event COVID-19 safety plan (you must do your own one for your business operations).
  • Security presence if needed.
  • Infrastructure such as crowd control barrier, bollards, toilets, small stages, technical equipment, traffic management barriers.
  • Some marketing collateral - both hard and digital assets.
  • Print advertising (depending on available budget).
  • Use City communications channels to support each event.
  • Book artists/entertainment for the Block Party.
  • Provide event staff for the event.
  • Coordinate event site including bump-in and out.
  • Coordinate waste management.
  • Coordinate first aid coverage.
  • Coordinate audio and PA system if needed.
  • Coordinate and source entertainment.
  • City of Hobart occupation licence if required.
  • Traffic management plan if required.
  • Public liability insurance.

What do businesses need to do?

  • Work collaboratively to develop an event runsheet.
  • Undertake marketing above and beyond what the City of Hobart can do.
  • Have your own business COVID-19 safety plan that addresses the event specifically.
  • Consider special offers and promotional activities to contribute to the overall event experience.
  • Within your own capabilities decorate your own shopfront and make the area festive.
  • Work collaboratively with other retailers and the City to develop the theme of your Block Party.
  • Augment entertainment with other activities.
  • Provide public access to toilets if needed.
  • Make hand sanitiser readily available.
  • Be prepared to give your time to form a working group and roll-up your sleeves on the day to ensure the overall success of the event.

Wet weather – what happens if it is going to rain?

Council officers will monitor the weather forecast in the lead up to the event date and approximately 1 week out start making plans to enact the wet weather plan. It will be strongly encouraged that all events have a contingency plan in case of rain or high winds but realise that this may not always be possible depending on the nature of the event.

What happens if COVID-19 restrictions are tightened?

A Block Party must adhere to government restrictions at the time of the event. If it is not possible to run the event, it will not go ahead.


Submit an Expression of Interest

EOIs are now open. Submit and Expression of Interest by clicking 'apply online'.

Key dates: Block parties are to be held between 20 November to 20 December 2020.

EOI opens: 28 September 2020.

EOI closes: 14 October 2020.

Apply online