- PERMITS & RESERVATIONS
- Special Events
IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATES
Due to Covid-19 health orders, available permits are limited to the following. We adapt as quickly as we can to what is allowed.
The following outdoor events are currently allowed (click on title to be taken to SF DPH Covid-19 Health Rules):
- Political Protests
- Private Receptions Up to 100 Persons
- Assigned Seating – Table or Group of Seating
- Limited to 100 people
- Ticketed or invite list only
- Food allowed
- Everyone must be seated in an pre-assigned seat
- Location must allow controlled access
- Performances/Movie Nights Ticketed with Assigned Seats
- Performances, Movie Nights and Festivals Limited to 50 Attendees
- Need Demarcated Space where you control ingress and egress
- Health plan must be submitted to DPH in advance
- Ticketing not required
- Allows for booth displays that people walk and visit
- Food must be consumed in separate area with fixed seating
- Athletic Event including – Running or Walking
- Generally limited to no more than 50 attendees
- Tournaments are not allowed
- Promotional Display
- Not advertised to the public – limited to those who are walking by
- Must ensure that no more than 50 people are in the area at any one time
- Religious Services and Wedding Ceremonies Only (no food)
- Please go the Religious Services application
What is a Special Event?
An event is considered a special event if it includes any of the following:
- Advertising that it is open to the public
- Amplified sound (i.e. generator operated speakers)
- Needing to confirm date/time/location more than 6 months in advance
- Requiring special set ups of stages, tents, barricades, fences or other items
- Selling food, alcohol or merchandise
- Selling Tickets
We offer many unique venues for concerts, races, or parties. Venues include iconic locations like Union Square Plaza, Palace of Fine Arts, Civic Center Plaza, and Japantown Peace Plaza. Other venues have high levels of foot traffic, such as Embarcadero Plaza (a transportation hub which also draws many to the Ferry Building for the Farmers’ Market), the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park, (located between the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences), and Marina Green (a central location for boating, running, and viewing the Golden Gate Bridge). We also offer locations for events in beautiful park settings like the Meadows in Golden Gate Park and the Jerry Garcia Amphitheatre in John McLaren Park.
The Application Process
- Step 1: Find your facility
- Step 2: Submit the application
- Step 3: Submit the application fee (Note: The site will not be placed on hold until this is paid)
- Step 4: Contacted regarding availability (Approximately two weeks after application fee is paid)
- Step 5: Application is fully reviewed (an assigned team member will then contact you regarding the event details)
- Step 6: Receive preliminary invoice and addendum
- Step 7: Receive final permit
You must submit an application for the use of any of our parks, plazas, or squares. The Special Event Application must be submitted at least sixty days in advance, and no more than one year in advance of event date. A $72 nonrefundable fee must also be submitted to start the application review process. If you submit an application but do not submit an application fee, your application will not be reviewed.
If you have submitted your application and your fee but have not heard back from us in two weeks, please call us at 415-831-5500, press 5 for Special Events. For more information about the application process and other approvals that might be required, please view Application Process Information page.
Upon receiving your completed application, you will receive confirmation that we received your application and instructions on how to remit the application fee. Acceptance of your application is not a guarantee of the date, location nor automatic approval of your event.
Other Required Applications
The following applications must also be submitted to the Department:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance: Any event with 1,000 or more attendees must complete an ADA Public Event checklist.
- Amplified Sound: Any event involving amplified sound must also submit an Amplified Sound Application. Limitations on days and hours of amplified sound vary based on the venue.
- In addition, there are other requirements that you should review and consider in planning your event: Other Required Provisions.
Special Event Fees
Fees for special events vary based on your activities. We recommend that you complete an application and then we will try to assist you with an estimate of the fees.
Other ancillary costs may include:
- Amplified Sound Permit ($88 not-for-profit; $630 for-profit)
- Concession Fee
- Park Impact Fee $1.52 per runner; $0.76 per walker
- Park Regeneration Fee
- Percentage of Ticketed Gate Sales
Other City of San Francisco Departments, local agencies, or property managers may assess additional fees and/or deposits for their services, or require additional permits. Once your application is processed you will receive further details. For information on other agencies, view Other Required Provisions.
Permittee will forfeit 25% of facility fees for any cancellation once the invoice is issued and all facility fees for any cancellation within 30 days of the start of set up.
Publicizing Events Using Our Facilities
Any individual or organization (including any affiliated organization) who publicizes, advertises or accepts registrations for an event or other activity using San Francisco Recreation and Park Department facilities without written confirmation that the facilities will be permitted for the space shall be suspended a minimum of one year from obtaining permits from this Department.
Other Locations in San Francisco
SF Recreation and Parks does not manage the following locations. If you are interested in these locations for your event, please click on the link and you will be directed to that organization’s website.