Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Transitioning Your JAM Permit to Host Outdoor Entertainment/Amplified Sound After March 2023
1. My business has a JAM permit that allows for ongoing entertainment/amplified sound. When does my JAM permit expire?
The JAM permit pandemic program will end on March 31, 2023, and after that date there will be a 60-day wind down period where JAM permits in good standing with a valid property approval can still be operational.
2. I want to continue hosting outdoor entertainment or amplified sound at my Shared Spaces location after March 2023 on a regular basis. How can I do that?
Before you can begin the application process for an Entertainment Commission permit for your outdoor space, you need to get permission to use the outdoor property from the appropriate City agency. We strongly recommend that you begin this process as soon as possible to avoid a gap in your outdoor entertainment/amplified sound activity after the JAM program expires.
What to do:
- For a Parklet on a sidewalk or parking lane: You need to apply for a Legislated Shared Spaces permit from the Shared Spaces program. You need to submit a new application even if you already have a Shared Spaces pandemic permit. Apply at: https://sf.gov/apply-shared-spaces-permit-sidewalk-or-parking-lane
- For Private Property, like a private lot, patio, or rooftop: Effective April 1, 2023, Shared Spaces permits for private property will no longer be valid and operators will need additional approvals from outside of the Shared Spaces program for continued use of these outdoor sites. If you wish to continue using your Shared Spaces private property area to host outdoor entertainment/amplified sound, first contact the Entertainment Commission’s Deputy Director Kaitlyn Azevedo, Kaitlyn.Azevedo@sfgov.org, 628-652-6038, for application instructions. More information can be found at: https://sf.gov/use-private-property-your-business.
- For a Roadway Closure: If you are an existing Shared Space permit holder, you must renew your permit by January 15, 2023 if you want to continue your events on or after April 1, 2023. Visit https://sf.gov/close-street-traffic-recurring-event for more information.
3. Once I receive permission from the appropriate City agency to use the outdoor space, how do I apply for the Entertainment Commission permit?
If using a parklet or private property: You can view the types of brick-and-mortar entertainment permits at SF.gov/EntertainmentCommission and see which one is the right for your business. These brick-and-mortar permits allow a business to host outdoor entertainment or amplified sound on a regular basis. Follow the steps on the permit application page. You will be required email the Entertainment Commission’s Deputy Director at Kaitlyn.Azevedo@sfgov.org to start the application process. Public noticing and attending a public hearing will be required.
NOTE: If your business already has a Place of Entertainment or a Limited Live Performance permit for your indoor space, you may request to amend your existing permit to add the outdoor premises, instead of applying for a separate permit.
If using a temporary street closure: You will need to apply for a One Time Outdoor Event permit from the Entertainment Commission for an event taking place after March 31, 2023. In one application, you may request multiple dates at the same location. You must get the approved street closure permit from SFMTA before we can approve the One Time Outdoor Event permit.
4. My business’s outdoor space has a Café Tables & Chairs permit or a Public Parklet permit from SFDPW that was issued before the pandemic. Can I apply for an entertainment permit to host outdoor entertainment/amplified sound in this space if I have this permit?
Yes, as long as your Café Tables & Chairs permit or Public Parklet permit is still valid and in good standing, you may apply for a Brick-and-Mortar permit or a One Time Outdoor Event permit from the Entertainment Commission. Remember that if your Café Tables & Chairs permit or Public Parklet permit is not renewed or is suspended/revoked, then your Entertainment Commission permit will no longer be valid.
5. After March 2023, I want to host special events on certain occasions at my business’s Shared Space or another outdoor space, like a street, sidewalk, or private lot. How can I do that?
For temporary events with outdoor entertainment/amplified sound that will happen after March 2023, you must apply for a One Time Outdoor Event Permit from the Entertainment Commission. In one application, you may request multiple dates at the same location.
You must get the approval from the appropriate City agency for the property before we can approve the One Time Outdoor Event permit. This could be a temporary street closure permit from SFMTA, a Temporary Occupancy Permit for the sidewalk from SFDPW, a Shared Spaces parklet permit, a Port of SF special event license, or a Temporary Use Authorization from SF Planning (for private property).
6. How much do these Entertainment Commission permits cost?
To view permit fees, visit https://sf.gov/check-your-entertainment-permit-fees.
7. When I apply for the Entertainment Commission permit, can I request more than 6 hours per day?
Yes, you may request extended hours for either a brick-and-mortar permit or a One Time Outdoor Event permit to host outdoor entertainment/amplified sound. Keep in mind there is no guarantee a request for extended hours will be granted. The Entertainment Commission may impose certain conditions to your permit based on, but not limited to, the number of sensitive receptors in the area, conducting meaningful neighborhood outreach, enforcement history, or density of entertainment permitted businesses in the surrounding neighborhood. All brick-and-mortar permit applications require public noticing and a public hearing, and One Time Outdoor Event permit applications with extended hours may require a public hearing. (See Criteria for One Time Outdoor Events with Extended Hours).
8. I currently have a JAM permit but I do not plan to continue hosting outdoor entertainment/amplified sound at my business after March 2023. What do I need to do?
Please email us at Entertainment.Commission@sfgov.org to let us know that you will not be hosting outdoor entertainment/amplified sound on a regular basis at your business. Your JAM permit will automatically expire on March 31, 2023 followed by an optional wind-down period of 60 days after that date.
If you decide not to renew your Shared Spaces Permit, you must remove your parklet by April 1, 2023. See the requirements at https://sf.gov/end-your-shared-space.
Remember that, in the future, you can always apply for our One Time Outdoor Event permit from the Entertainment Commission if you want to host an event with outdoor entertainment/amplified sound that is taking place after March 31, 2023.
9. Who can I contact if I have questions?
Entertainment Commission: email@example.com, 628-652-6030
Shared Spaces Program: firstname.lastname@example.org
SFMTA Roadway Closures: email@example.com
SF Dept. of Public Works: firstname.lastname@example.org