SF Outdoor Event Planning and Permitting Guide

SF Outdoor Planning and Permitting Guide

The SF Outdoor Event Planning and Permitting Guide assists event organizers with navigating the rules, permit processes, and agencies that affect outdoor events, and shares best practices to help them achieve successful outcomes. This guide aims to empower event organizers with the knowledge, tools, and resources to be legally compliant and produce safer, higher quality and more sustainable outdoor events. Produced by the San Francisco Entertainment Commission, the Guide was developed with over 20 government agencies and will be updated in January and July of each year.



Download Full Guide: PDF iconSF Outdoor Event Planning & Permitting Guide - 07.19.pdf

Download the Permit Fee Estimator FY19-20 (Last updated 7.1.19).xlsx


I. PART ONE: Getting Started

PDF iconOverview
PDF iconWelcome from the Entertainment Commission
PDF iconWhere to Begin - Contact the Agency that Permits the Land
PDF iconIn the Early Planning Stages

II. PART TWO: Applying for a Permit

PDF iconPermit Application Process for Outdoor Special Events
PDF iconParades
PDF iconFirst Amendment Activity - Marches & Rallies
PDF iconDeadlines and Important Dates
PDF iconList of Common Permits, Licenses & Additional Approvals
PDF iconFrequently Contacted Agencies

III. PART THREE: Operations and Infrastructure

PDF iconSecurity Plan
PDF iconFire Safety and Temporary Built Structures
PDF iconEmergency Medical Plan
PDF iconTransportation Plan
PDF iconClean-Up and Zero Waste
PDF iconNeighborhood Outreach Plan
PDF iconFood and Beverage Safety
PDF iconAlcohol Management and Licensing
PDF iconCommon Types of ABC Special Event Liquor Licenses
PDF iconOutdoor Entertainment and Amplified Sound

IV. PART FOUR: Appendix

PDF iconPre-Application Questionnaire (Optional)
Permit Fee Estimator FY19-20 (Last updated 07.1.19)
PDF iconDefinitions
PDF iconLate Applications and Appeals
PDF iconSamples and Diagrams
PDF iconAgency Contacts (A-Z)

For assistance and more information, contact Dylan Rice, Senior Analyst, 415-554-0804, Dylan.Rice@sfgov.org


DISCLAIMER: This is provided for informational purposes only.  It may not describe all current requirements, actions, permits, or fees that may be required by each affected City department. You should consult, in advance of your event, with all City departments that may have jurisdiction over any part of your event to confirm that you are aware of all current requirements and guidelines for your event. Such departments may include the SFMTA, SF Recreation & Park Department, SF Police Department, SF Fire Department, SF Department of Public Health, Port of San Francisco, SF Entertainment Commission, SF Public Works, or others. There may be events not covered by this Guide. If you are not sure whether your event is covered by this Guide, or which departments may have jurisdiction over your event, please call the SF Entertainment Commission at 415-554-5706 or contact the relevant land authority for the location of the event. All City policies, processes, fees and rates referenced herein are subject to change without notice. 

The permit process begins when you submit a permit application to the appropriate City department. All attachments and supporting documentation, as required, must be submitted along with the original application.  The City and County of San Francisco is not required to act upon an incomplete permit application. As a result, incomplete permit applications will neither be approved nor denied, and you will not have the right to appeal. It is therefore extremely important to provide all requested information and related documentation in a timely manner throughout the entirety of the permit application process.  If you are unsure whether your application is complete, you should confirm with the relevant City department. Any action by the City in reviewing or processing your permit application does not indicate that your permit application is complete or approved until you have received final approval in writing.