This article examines the relationship between events and social sustainability focussing on community led, not-for-profit, social events. Drawing on broad literature, I consider the nature of social sustainability, exploring five aspects which are developed through community events, namely social capital, interaction, participation, sense of place and wellbeing. I identify processes, practices and capabilities that are developed through community events, highlighting the importance of small scale, incremental, bottom-up, playful and pleasurable social engagement as a way of developing socially sustainable behaviours. I reflect upon the transformations required to achieve social sustainability, deliberating whether radical or gradual change is implied. This leads to a discussion about the potential and limitations of community events as a way of moving towards social sustainability. The conclusions reflect upon community events as a local practice of social sustainability. The contribution of this article is that it collates and connects a diverse literature, exploring five core ideas and highlighting intersections, overlaps and tensions in order to develop a broader understanding of community events in progressing aspects of social sustainability.