Get an entertainment permit for your outdoor event

Important: During COVID-19, if you want to hold entertainment or amplified sound at an outdoor location, visit our application page for the new JAM Permit at sf.gov/jam. Permit is available at no cost.

What to do

1. See if you need a permit

You must have this permit to hold an outdoor event with entertainment or amplified sound on: 

  • a city street
  • a city sidewalk
  • private property, like a parking lot.

You do not need this permit for an event at a private residence or on SF Recreation and Park property. 

2. Get permission from whoever owns or manages the property.

That could be a:

  • temporary street closure permit from the SFMTA/ISCOTT 
  • special event license from the Port of San Francisco
  • letter from the property owner or manager 
  • contract to rent the space

If you are the property owner or manager, you don't need a letter or contract. You can just confirm your status on the application. 
 

3. Know what entertainment and amplified sound you will have, with the exact location and times.

For example, if you want a stage at a street fair, you will need to tell us where on the street you will have the stage. We also want to know what time the band will do a sound check and what time they will play.

4. Fill out the application

**Important: If you’re inquiring about doing an outdoor event with entertainment/amplified sound, contact an EC staff member prior to submitting an application. For an event at a Shared Spaces permitted location, keep checking back here for updates.**

5. Pay the permit fee

After you submit your application we will let you know how much and where to pay. You can also pay in advance, if you prefer. 

If you have a band, DJ, or other live entertainment, you need a One Time Outdoor Entertainment Permit. The permit costs $470. 

If you have amplified sound only (like an iPod, speeches, TV or film screening), you need a One Time Outdoor Amplified Sound Permit. The permit is $455 for the first 4 hours of amplified sound. After the first 4 hours, you will pay $78 per hour for each additional hour of amplified sound. 

The SF Entertainment Commission has the right to deny an application submitted less than 7 days before an event. Once we begin processing your application, we may not refund your fee. 

Fee waiver

You can apply for a fee waiver if your event received a grant from the City and County of San Francisco.

You can apply for a fee waiver if you (the organizer) get some kind of public assistance or if paying the fee would not leave you enough money to live on. 

You can apply for a fee waiver if your event is:

  • free
  • open to the public
  • run by a non-profit or community group
  • the permit fee is more than 25% of the total budget for the event

Special cases

After hours sound

If you want to have outdoor amplified sound before 9am or after 10pm it may be possible. You may need to have a public hearing with the Entertainment Commission. Get in touch with us early, as the process can take up to 45 days. 

Our Mission

The Entertainment Commission supports a thriving entertainment and nightlife culture that balances the needs of the City’s entertainment community, its audiences, and its neighbors across all district neighborhoods.

Get help

Entertainment Commission

49 South Van Ness

Suite 1482

San Francisco, CA 94103

Mon to Fri, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Phone

Entertainment Commission

Last updated October 14, 2020