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 icon SF 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 icon Overview
PDF icon Welcome from the Entertainment Commission
PDF icon Where to Begin - Contact the Agency that Permits the Land
PDF icon In the Early Planning Stages

II. PART TWO: Applying for a Permit

PDF icon Permit Application Process for Outdoor Special Events
PDF icon Parades
PDF icon First Amendment Activity - Marches & Rallies
PDF icon Deadlines and Important Dates
PDF icon List of Common Permits, Licenses & Additional Approvals
PDF icon Frequently Contacted Agencies

III. PART THREE: Operations and Infrastructure

PDF icon Security Plan
PDF icon Fire Safety and Temporary Built Structures
PDF icon Emergency Medical Plan
PDF icon Transportation Plan
PDF icon Clean-Up and Zero Waste
PDF icon Neighborhood Outreach Plan
PDF icon Food and Beverage Safety
PDF icon Alcohol Management and Licensing
PDF icon Common Types of ABC Special Event Liquor Licenses
PDF icon Outdoor Entertainment and Amplified Sound

IV. PART FOUR: Appendix

PDF icon Pre-Application Questionnaire (Optional)
Permit Fee Estimator FY19-20 (Last updated 07.1.19)
PDF icon Definitions
PDF icon Late Applications and Appeals
PDF icon Samples and Diagrams
PDF icon Agency Contacts (A-Z)

For assistance and more information, contact Dylan Rice, Senior Analyst, 628-652-6033, 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 628-652-6030 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.