Planning a Special Event
The primary function of the Office of Special Events is to serve the community and to guide event planners through the City's special event permitting process. All reservations for special events that desire to take place on public property (streets, parks, etc.) are initiated with our office. We have created a user-friendly, one-stop process to facilitate a successful event. Our Customer's Guide to Special Events is designed to provide event planners with the necessary information about the permitting, planning and producing your event in the City of Tampa.
When is a Special Event Permit Required?
A Special Event Permit is required for any outdoor activity taking place on city property with an anticipated attendance of 200 persons or greater and/or any outdoor activity requesting a sound amplification permit (i.e., DJ, sound system with speakers, etc).
A Facility Use Permit is issued by the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department and is required for events taking place in a city park with an estimated number of participants and spectators of up to 199. A Facility Use Permit application must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to the date of the event.
How do I apply for a Special Event Permit?
Things to Remember when Filing an Application
The Office of Special Events will assign an Event Manager to each applicant upon receipt of the Special Event Application. The Event Manager will assist the applicant through the entire permitting process and will act as a liaison for all required city services. The Event Manager will schedule a pre-event meeting with the applicants and all applicable city departments to review the Special Event Application, site plan and timelines.
A cost estimate for city services will be prepared by the Office of Special Events for each event based on information submitted in the Special Event Application. Upon the applicant's agreement to pay all associated event costs, the event coordination and permit process will begin. A non-refundable application fee is required to submit a Special Event Application.
A security/damage deposit may be required for all events. The deposit will be refunded upon verification by city staff that the rental area has been returned to a condition similar to that prior to use. In the event of damages, the applicant will be responsible for all costs associated with damages to park facilities, equipment, furnishings, grounds and right-of-ways, including by not limited to labor, materials and equipment required to complete repairs.
Event Cancellation or Postponement
If an applicant cancels or postpones a scheduled event prior to the commencement, they will be entitled to a complete refund excluding the application fee and deposit, if notice of the cancellation or postponement is provided a minimum of 30 days prior to the first scheduled day (including move-in). No refunds will be issued for cancellations or postponements made 29 days prior to the first scheduled day except if the event is canceled by the City of Tampa due to a declaration of a state of emergency, issuance of a tropical storm, hurricane warning, or warning of severe inclement weather by the county.
The City of Tampa may cancel or postpone an event without prior notice for any condition affecting the public health or safety of the City or any condition that would place facilities, grounds or other natural resources at risk of damage or destruction if the event were permitted to take place.
The City of Tampa will not confirm a future date until both application fee and deposit are paid in full.
Denial or Rejection of a Special Event Permit Application
The Office of Special Events may reject or deny a permit application on one or more of the following grounds: