Help Needed: Event Business Rights


(Matthew Harris) #1

Hi All,
We have been running an event in a park in london for nearly 15 years. The council has decided to bid our event off to the highest bidder for more revenue. Does anyone know if there are any legal rights for event organisers in the UK.

I have tried to explain to the council that the event was started by us and we own the event and they own the land. They can increase the rent (although they have already increased by 156% in 4 years) and not sell our event to someone else as they don’t have the right to do that … or do they?


(Belinda Booker) #2

They certainly can’t just take your event name or branding - that’s your IP. They could, however, allow someone else to run an event with similar content or format. Check out this article about putting a value on your event:

It sounds morally wrong what the council intends to do and I suggest you bring it to the attention of your MP and the local press. Perhaps consider starting a petition, especially if your event is valued by the community? Good luck and keep us updated.


(Matthew Harris) #3

Hi,

Thank you for your reply.

I will keep you up to date on what happens. We are seeing a solicitor next week about it as they have informed us that “Passing off” laws apply and that the event its self is an asset that we have built up.

Matt


(Belinda Booker) #4

That makes sense; seems crazy they could just claim it for their own. Will look forward to hearing what can be done.


(Matthew Harris) #5

Well, Been to see a solicitor today.

If you don’t have a long term contract for your event then you don’t have any rights to the event.

If the council decides to give your event to someone else they can. You can try using the “Passing Off” laws after someone else has done your event but they will of had to do a bad job and have had damaged your reputation and it would have to be exactly the same.

Spending money and building an event over years means nothing.

Shame but i will keep fighting it and i will keep you updated.


(Belinda Booker) #6

That’s really disheartening to hear. I think your best bet will be highlighting the unfair action of the council and how it is simply a way for them to make more money - there’s a real human interest story here. What’s the nature of your event and what’s the story behind it (how did you come to start it?). I write for the Eventbrite blog so perhaps this is something we could cover?