San Diego

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Special Events

Image of Special Event Permit Application

NEW! Online Special Event Permit Application

$150 permit application fee
$10 per business day late fee

A Special Event Permit is required for an organized activity that incorporates the use of:
  • City public streets, sidewalks, rights-of-way; and/or
  • City public parks or other City public property; and/or
  • Outdoor private property including parking lots, only when the property is part of a Special Event Venue that includes City public property and permission has been received by the property owner/manager (for example, a parking lot used as part of a street festival venue).
Examples of activities that require a Special Event Permit include festivals, parades, runs/walks, and farmer/art markets.  

There is a $150 permit application processing fee 60 days or more prior to the event day and an additional $10 per business day late fee for applications received less than 60 days prior to the event date. It is strongly recommended that you submit your permit application at least 120 days prior to the proposed event date.

Special Event Planning Guide

The Special Event Planning Guide has been developed to guide you through the Citywide Special Event Permit Process and to provide you with guidelines and requirements associated with special event management in the City of San Diego. This is an important reference guide as you develop your event plans and complete your permit application.

COVID-19 Supplemental Guidelines 

As a result of the amended orders and emergency regulations issued by the San Diego County Public Health Officer in response to the COVID-19 situation in San Diego County, the City of San Diego has enacted temporary limits on public gatherings to protect the public and slow the spread of COVID-19. These limits have specific implications for special event permits and on-location filming, which apply for both future permits and previously issued permits in the City of San Diego.

Special Event permit amendments for rescheduled dates and new applications for future dates may be submitted for review. Issuance of special event permits will be subject to new guidelines or mandates for public gatherings and social distancing, and will be in accordance with the County Public Health Orders, California Department of Public Health guidelines, and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

To learn more about the City of San Diego's latest guidelines and resources, visit: 

PDF icon Outdoor Activity Supplemental Guidelines for Street Closure Permit

PDF icon Farmers Markets Supplemental Guidelines

PDF icon Craft and Artisan Market Supplemental Guidelines

Vehicle-Based Reverse Parades Supplemental Guidelines

Drive-In Movie, Concert, and Live Performance Supplemental Guidelines

Special Events Storm Water and Recycling Compliance Videos

Other Special Event Related Permits

There are a number of different special event related permits that may be issued independent of a Citywide Special Event Permit or may be required in conjunction with a Citywide Special Event Permit. The proposed event venue, activities, components, attendance, and unique circumstances of the event are contributing factors to the final determination of the required permit types.

Following is a summary of the most common permits types you may be required to obtain if you are planning a special event or an activity associated with a special event.