Public Event Guidelines

These guidelines have been developed for any person or group that wants to conduct a public event in the City of Boston. A public event is an event opened to the general public; it can be held on public or private property; it may feature entertainment, amusements, food and beverages; it may be classified as a road race, block-party, festival, fundraising party, or parade.

A public event in the City of Boston, depending on the size and nature of the event, may require a number of permits from various departments within the City before being officially approved. In order to assure that the City, as well as the public event applicant, has as much information as needed before beginning the permitting process, the City requires the applicant to sit down with the public event committee prior to the scheduling of their event.

Minimum Requirements

The applicant must provide the following completed documentation for the special events committee at their scheduled meeting:

Check (25)A Public Event Application.

Check (25)A detailed site plan showing the following: all handicap, pedestrian and fire access; dimensions of stages and tents; and type of equipment or generators & placement of any vendors and any outdoor toilet facilities.

Check (25)You will need to prepare an itemized list and cost analysis of city services proved to you by Transportation, Boston Fire, Boston Police, Boston EMS, and Inspection Services Department (Building, Health, Electrical Inspectors).

Additional Requirements

Depending on the nature of the event, any of the following may be required:

Check (25) Site Permission
  • Privately owned location: You must provide a letter from the landlord giving you the right to use the property.

  • Public Park: You must submit an additional application to the Boston Parks Department. Download Application

  • City Streets: If a street needs to be closed for the event, you must submit an additional application to the Boston Parks Department. Download Application

Check (25) Letters of Support
  • First Year of Event: If this is the first year of your event, you will need letters of support from local community and business organizations.

Further Assistance

Public Event Regulations

  • Reminder - Filing Dates

    Note: the applicant is responsible for filing their application in a timely manner; at least 30 days in advance for larger events and at least 14 days in advance for smaller events. Non-compliance may result in a denial of the application.

    View All Regulations