Students hoping to orchestrate large (and potentially noisy) off-campus events usually need to obtain permits to do so. Permits can be obtained from the local police department and often require the following or similar information:
Once this application is filled out, it is a good idea to speak with town officers about the event face-to-face. Be agreeable and listen to any concerns that they have since this will improve your chances of approval.
An officer may ask you to go and talk to residents that live near the property about your event prior to approval. If this is the case, your group might consider writing a letter to residents explaining the nature of your event and the cause that it is supporting. Be sure to be formal and courteous.
1) Get insurance. Although it is unlikely that your event will go sour, in the event that something happens, it is important to protect your group from a lawsuit. This only applies to LARGE off-campus events. If you have an on-campus event, remember that your school provides the necessary insurance.
You should purchase a minimum of $1,000,000 in insurance for your event. Although this might seem to be a bit much, a plan like this will definitely cover your organization and cost around $400. Our team recommends purchasing event insurance from Sadler & Company, Inc., although there are other good companies out there.
Whichever insurance company your organization chooses, be sure to make arrangements at least 3 weeks prior. ***NOTE: If you are having a concert, be sure to describe it as Blues, Funk, or Alternative rather than Rap or Rock (because these two genres may not be covered).
2) Purchase Port-A-Potties if no public bathrooms will be readily available. AT LEAST two. (Keep in-mind that a reasonable price for the rental of two Port-A-Potties is around $300).
3) Buy fencing. Keep the party contained! You don’t want attendees to disturb the neighbors or get out of your sight. Setting boundaries is a good idea, and inexpensive TEMPORARY fencing can be purchased at a local hardware store. (A good price for 100 feet of fencing is around $25).
4) Consider the sound equipment and electrical generators that your event may need. Seek companies or individuals in the area with experience. It is wise to meet with potential providers in-person well-before the event. Assess whether or not they are punctual, compare their rates, and look for positive recommendations from others.
5) Provide security. It’s not a bad idea to ask a few of the local cops to stand guard around the premises of your event. Although this is not always possible, if you manage this, your event is much less likely to get out-of-hand or attract riff-raff. It’s always better to have the law on your side!
6) Have good food. We all know that cuisine can make or break any well-planned event! Consider having catered food or hiring local vendors to sell to attendees after brainstorming which types of foods will be attendees’ favorites. Your organization may want to avoid homemade goods to protect itself from potential (though unlikely) lawsuits.
Event Description Sample event description for an outdoor concert/ fundraiser that was sent to the local police department for approval.
Land Use Agreement Sample agreement used for an outdoor concert that may be used as a template for similar events.
Obtaining Permits Text on this page in printer-friendly PDF format.