Terms of use of LSE venues and event safety

All users of LSE venues including teaching rooms and lecture theatres and in  particular the organiser (whether that is an LSE department or a LSESU Society) are responsible for ensuring that they plan their events to be safe for all participating in them, watching them, or sharing the building.

The LSE ("School") stipulates certain rules which must be observed in order to protect both people and property.

It is essential that all event organisers read General Emergency Information for Event Organisers on Houghton street Campus|Emergency Information for Event Organisers in NAB|, Fire Procedures for the Towers|.

A model risk assessment form| can be found online.

While the majority of these rules apply to venues across the campus, the Old Theatre is one venue which is routinely used for non-traditional and non-academic purposes including performances such as plays, dance shows, fashion shows and other entertainment type events.

Organisers of these types of events are required to complete an Old Theatre event declaration form| which must be completed at least 3 weeks prior to the event taking place, and must be finalised no less than 1 week before the event. Only when the relevant LSE departments are satisfied that appropriate controls are in place and the LSE Health and Safety office have signed off the arrangements will the booking of the venue be confirmed by the LSE Conferences and Event Office.

A copy of the confirmed event declaration form between the organiser and LSE on the arrangements for events will be lodged with LSE Security, who are authorised by the LSE to ensure that the agreement is met. If the organiser fails to comply with the agreement then LSE security staff have the right to prevent the event from going ahead "on the night".

If circumstances outside the control of the organiser mean that they would need to deviate from the agreement, they must notify LSE Health and Safety Office of the proposed changes and agree a mutually acceptable solution.

All of these issues must be considered by the organiser, and with all of these issues we strongly advise you contact service providers with as much notice as possible. Short notice requests are not always possible to accommodate. Organisers should also note that services required outside the normal working day and at weekends may be chargeable.


Audio Visual Equipment and support

Information about AV equipment and support can be found at http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/IMT/facilities/avServices/home.aspx|, with specific information for student societies located at http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/IMT/facilities/avServices/studentEvents/home.aspx|

Outside of normal working hours, unless specific arrangements are made with the AV unit the Old Theatre has no AV equipment available to use, as the equipment is locked away at the end of the working day, so its essential that you make arrangements in advance if you have any AV requirements. There may be a cost for AV support on weekday evenings, and at weekends.

NEW - in the summer of 2012 the School purchased new sound equipment specifically for the use of student societies out of hours providing better facilities for them. It is independent mobile system that contains 4 wireless mics, a couple of mic stands and hand held mics and a cd player. This plugs into the wall at the back of the OT. There is also a separate wall box with mic inputs on the stage itself. This is all independent of the main system which means LSE AV staff do not have to be present for it to be used. To use this equipment please contact the SU, j.o'hara@lse.ac.uk|.  

Electrical and Lighting

Event organisers are not allowed to bring any electrical equipment such as amplification and sound systems, lighting rigs etc into School premises including in the Old Theatre. The only equipment that can be used, is that which is already present in the venue.

If an event organiser wishes to use the lighting system which is in place in the Old Theatre, then they need to arrange access to the lighting board, the procedure for doing this can be found at Electricians and access to the lighting board|.

No electric heaters may be brought into LSE venues.

Any cables must be taped down to prevent trips and avoid damage to the cable, plug or equipment.

Fire, flames and special effects

The LSE has a fire risk assessment for the Old Building and other LSE buildings covering normal day to day use of the building. Flames (including candles, tea lights, pyrotechnics) and special effects (such as smoke, dry ice) are not covered by this assessment and are not allowed to be used under any circumstances.

Any props including soft furnishings or furniture brought in for the performance must conform to current safety (fire retardant) standards or the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and have been treated with flame retardant spray.


No food or food preparation/distribution is permitted in the Old Theatre itself, Old Building entrance, or corridors by the Old Theatre.

There are reception venues in the Old Building which can be booked, the Atrium Gallery on the ground floor of the Old Building can be booked for receptions, but events in the Gallery can only be catered by LSE central catering. LSE Central Catering website contains the prices of their menus, and considerable other information, http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/cateringServices/Home.aspx|

If the organiser wishes to arrange their own reception this can be done, but they have to operate following the Policy on provision of informal hospitality catering.  http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/cateringServices/functions/Policy.aspx|

No cooking or re-heating is permitted on the LSE premises by anyone other than LSE central catering, or one of their approved external caterers.

If event organisers have provided catering following the provision of informal hospitality they are responsible for ensuring there are sufficient means of disposing of anything used in the preparation, serving and eating of food. Waste should be disposed of in line with the LSE's Sustainability Guidelines|, in the places designated by LSE.

Emergency Preparation

Organisers of productions and other events in School venues, with any accompanying receptions, are responsible for ensuring emergency arrangements are in place. They should appoint a member of their organisation to be in overall charge of the event, and to liaise with the LSE both before and during the event.

Organisers should appoint sufficient stewards to enable any room or theatre they use to be evacuated within 3 minutes of an alarm sounding, and to escort all those attending the event to the Fire Assembly Point|.

Such stewards should be briefed in their fire duties, crowd management, etc. LSE Health and Safety or Conference and Events can assist with providing information for such briefings|. Note: 1 steward per fire exit in the venue is the minimum. In the Old Theatre, the Conference and Events Office generally have no less than 8 stewards per event. You can hire stewards| from the Conference and Events office, there is a charge for this service.

Stewards remain on duty from before the audience starts arriving to after the last member of the audience (or last person attending a function) has left. They may not have any alcoholic drinks while on duty.

All participants (actors, performers, stage crew, musicians, etc) must be briefed in advance on their responsibilities should the fire alarms sound before, during or after a performance.

Organisers must establish adequate first aid provision for the number of people attending. As a minimum, they must have a designated appointed person to take charge if someone falls ill. The first aider may not have any alcoholic drinks while on duty. They should ensure there is an appropriately stocked first aid box readily available.

If events are organised that take place or run outside normal office hours (i.e. Monday to Friday 8am to 6.30pm) then it must be borne in mind that some building exit doors (possibly fire exit doors) might be secured with security locks that are interlocked to the building's fire alarm system. Event organisers must familiarise themselves with how these operate. Special care must be taken to advise people about safe ways out of our buildings during the evening and at weekends in the event of fire or other threat.

Specific information about the Old Theatre and the emergency procedures for this venue are available here|.

Old Theatre - closure times

Events in the Old Theatre have to have finished on weekdays (Monday to Friday) by no later than 11pm, with all tidying up completed by no later than 11.30pm. By 11.30pm the theatre and the green room if used need to have been vacated.

Events in the Old Theatre have to be finished on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) by no later than 10pm, with all tidying up completed by no later than 10.30pm. By 10.30pm the theatre and the green room if used need to have been vacated.

Rehearsals in the Old Theatre on weekdays have to be completed and the venue vacated by 10.30pm and by 6pm on a weekend.

Organisers risk their events being stopped (with lighting and sounds systems switched off) if they fail to comply with these rules.

Venue capacity

The maximum number of people allowed into each room based on each rooms default setting is the number of seats in the venue. The capacity of each room can be seen on the rooms website|. The only people standing in a venue should be any stewards or security staff working at an event. Organisers have a responsibility not to allow venues to exceed their stated capacity.

The Old Theatre seats a maximum of 462 people. Extra chairs or furniture is not allowed to brought into rooms, including the Old Theatre.

Non LSE Audience

If your events are at the weekend, and you have people other than LSE students and/or staff attending your event (ie people without a LSE ID card) you will need to put in place arrangements to allow for access for these people, as out of normal working hours access to LSE buildings including the Old Building is restricted to those with LSE ID cards.

From 2pm on a Saturday and all day on a Sunday, access to the Old Building is restricted to those with valid LSE ID card, or by prior arrangement with LSE security.

To enable non LSE people to access the Old Building in these times, the organiser will need to lodge a list of non LSE attendees with LSE security by 4pm on the Friday prior to the event (this needs to be emailed to both r.mulcahy@lse.ac.uk| and g.shillabeer@lse.ac.uk|), and to have a registration desk in place opposite the reception desk in the entrance of the Old Building, where non LSE attendees have to register. Organisers will have to provide non LSE attendees with some sort of the ticket or pass which is easily identifiable to LSE security staff if attendees are going to be going in and out of the building.

If people from outside the School are invited to attend an event then please make sure that they are told that although the School is a perfectly safe place (violence is virtually unknown) nevertheless these buildings are located in Central London and attract walk-in type thieves - so everyone needs to look after their property. The School, in common with most other UK universities, has an 'open to all' policy. This means that you should not leave valuable property lying around unattended anywhere inside the School INCLUDING inside apparently locked rooms. Laptop type computers are one of the most common items stolen here. Please remind delegates to take particular care of every item of property.

Old Theatre Green Room

If organisers wish to use the Old Theatre green room| this needs to be booked out separately from the Old Theatre.

Other site rules

No drilling is permitted through walls, doors, screens or other elements in School venues.

No obstructions (including tables and chairs) are permitted inside the doors to the venue, nor in the corridors immediately outside the venue.

Fire exit routes must be kept clear at all times.

Organisers must have appropriate levels of public liability insurance (PLI) for the events they stage.

For LSE academic departments and research centres or administrative divisions, normal activities would be covered by the School's PLI, which can be found on the Finance Division website|. If you are using LSE venues for non traditional activities you should check that these activities will be covered by the School's PLI.

For SU societies, they will need to ensure that their planned activities are covered by the PLI held by the LSE Students Union.

Other issues to consider


Rehearsals – the Old Theatre cannot be booked for rehearsals in the working week before 6pm. If SU societies wish to use other classrooms for rehearsals| the procedure can be found online.

VIP guests – if you have any VIP guests who come with their own security details please contact the LSE security office to discuss arrangements. http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/security/Home.aspx|

Personal belongings of audience and performers – please see LSE security http://www2.lse.ac.uk/intranet/LSEServices/security/Home.aspx|

Cash Handling – if you are selling tickets, or programmes, or will be handing cash please ensure you are complying with either School, or Student Union rules on cash handling and storage.

To find out more information about these issues - see Security, reception and porters| and Health and Safety|.