What to Expect from a Dry Hire Venue

dry hire venue

When you rent a dry hire venue, you are essentially renting the space itself without any built-in services or equipment. What you can expect from a dry hire venue largely depends on the specific venue and its policies, but here are some general expectations:

Blank Canvas:

Dry hire venues typically provide you with a blank canvas. You’ll have an empty space to work with, which you can transform according to your event’s theme and needs. This can be advantageous if you are planning a creative event or something that you want to do an extensive set-build.

dry hire venue

Exclusive Use:

More than likely you will have exclusive use of the venue during your rental period. This means you won’t have to share the space with other events or clients, giving you full control over the setup and schedule.

Freedom and Flexibility:

Dry hire venues offer a high degree of flexibility. You can bring in your own vendors, caterers, decorators, and equipment to tailor the event to your exact specifications.

Choice of Vendors:

Most dry hire venues will give you have the freedom to select vendors that suit your preferences and budget. This includes choosing caterers, AV companies, decorators, and other service providers.

dry hire venue bristol


You can customize the layout, decor, lighting, and overall ambiance of the venue to align with your event’s theme or branding.

Full Responsibility:

With great freedom comes more responsibility. When you rent a dry hire venue, you are responsible for managing and coordinating all aspects of your event, including setup, tear-down, and any technical requirements.

Additional Costs:

While dry hire venues may have a lower base rental fee compared to full-service venues, keep in mind that you’ll need to budget for additional services and equipment. This may include hiring tables, chairs, AV equipment, restrooms, heating/cooling units, and more.

dry hire venue london

Security and Cleaning:

Depending on the venue, you may be responsible for hiring security personnel and arranging for post-event cleaning. Be sure to clarify these responsibilities in your contract.

Access Hours:

Check with the venue about the hours you’ll have access to the space. Some will allow 24 hr access, whilst some venues may have restrictions on when you can set up and when you must vacate the premises.


You may be required to provide liability insurance for your event, covering any potential accidents or damages that may occur during your rental period.

Technical Support:

If your event requires technical equipment or complex setups, you’ll need to hire an experienced AV or technical team to handle the technical aspects.

Permits and Regulations:

Ensure that you understand and comply with any local permits, zoning regulations, and safety codes relevant to your event.

Catering and Alcohol:

Verify if the venue allows external catering and alcohol service. Some dry hire venues may have restrictions or require you to use preferred vendors for these services.

dry hire venues

Load-In and Load-Out:

Plan for efficient load-in and load-out processes, especially if you have large equipment or decorations to transport.  Make sure that the venue is fully accessible.


Effective communication with the venue management is essential. Make sure to discuss all your requirements, timelines, and expectations well in advance to avoid any surprises on the event day.

There are a large number of dry hire venues both in London and across the UK – here are just a few for you to consider:

Testbed Leeds 10,000 sq ft of blank space to dress as you want.

Digbeth, Birmingham:  Originally a Birds Custard Factory, there are a number of large and small spaces suitable for a wide range of events.

Millbrook, Bedfordshire:  12 metre high ceilings means you can even host a full-height circus performance!

Plymouth Pavilions:  1800 sq m of event space, means that it can host up to 2500 people

Victoria Warehouse, Manchester: An industrial space suitable for a wide range of events large and small.

Protein Studios, London: 5 adjoining studios with a combined capacity of 13,000 sq ft

Once you have decided that you need a dry hire venue for your event, there are a number of experienced venue finding companies who can help with your search.

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No matter how large or small your event is, we guarantee that we will find you some really exciting venues to consider, so why do all the hard work yourself? Simply tell us about your event, whether you are looking for a dry hire, blank canvas or a venue that can provide everything you need, and leave the rest to us.