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General Information
General Information



Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 13.44 provides the framework and guidance for the issuance of Permits for Street Events within the City of Berkeley.  In general, any organized activity over 50 people impacting City services or involving the use of, or having an impact on, any public street, sidewalk, median or public right-of-way requires a street event permit.

Planning Guide Home Page

The following pages include the City of Berkeley’s application for a Street Event Permit and accompanying instructions developed to guide you through the process.


Block Party – means a gathering sponsored by solely owners, residents or tenants fronting a street, which causes a closure of the entire street, or portion thereof, to vehicular traffic and use of the street for the gathering.


High Impact Event – means an event occupying all or a portion of a major street, collector or scenic route street, or more than two blocks adjacent blocks of a local street, where a detour is required, and/or where AC Transit, University of California-Berkeley (UCB) or Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) buses would need to be re-routed.


Local Streets – those streets defined in the circulation element of the Berkeley General Plan as local streets.


Low Impact Event – means an event occupying all or a portion of not more than two adjacent blocks of a local street (other than a major, collector or scenic route street) where a formalized detour is not required, and where AC Transit, UCB or LBNL buses would not have to be re-routed.


Street Event – includes any march, demonstration, assembly, parade, festival, street fair, concert or any other gathering which takes place in the public street or right-of-way, and which may impede, obstruct, or interfere with the normal flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.

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City Sponsorship

In all cases, official sponsorship or co-sponsorship requires City Council approval as a distinct action.  This is done by formal adoption of a Council resolution.  When City sponsorship is authorized, the event organizer may then use the City’s name and logo in the event literature, promotional materials, and any signage.  Co-sponsorship does not mean the City assumes any liability for the event and it also does not mean City services will be made available to the event upon request.  Co-sponsorship simply means the City is lending its name and logo to the event.  Likewise, Council approval of cash grants and/or other City support does not automatically constitute the City’s agreement to be a co-sponsor.


To obtain official City sponsorship or co-sponsorship, contact the office of your local councilmember.  The councilmember will submit a recommendation to the full Council for consideration.

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Where to File Application

City Manager's Office
2180 Milvia Street, 5th Floor
Berkeley, CA  94704
(510) 981-7071

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Filing Fees

The City strives to keep fees as low as possible by charging only for the cost of processing the application and provision of City services.  In addition to the cost of inspections and other City services, other fees such as a sound permit fee will apply for the use of sound amplification equipment, etc.  Depending upon the type of event, respective fees may vary.


Further, a refundable security deposit of $350 will be assessed for low and high impact street events.  The deposit will help offset the cost for the replacement of damaged equipment, and clean-up costs when event sponsors fail to properly clean-up the event area.


If paying by check or money order, please prepare separate checks or money orders for the permit fee and the security deposit.  Both checks should be made payable to the City of Berkeley.

All fees are non-refundable, and payable with the submission of the permit application packet. Failure to complete the application fully, including compliance with all requirements and inclusion of all sketches, drawings and other required material, as well as signing the application will result in a rejection of the application in full.


Low Impact

High Impact

At least 90 weekdays for street fairs and parades[1]



At least 60 weekdays in advance of event



Fewer than 60 weekdays in advance of event



Fewer than 30 weekdays in advance of event



Fewer than 20 weekdays in advance of event



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A completed application packet may be filed as early as six months before the event, but recommend it be received no later than 30 business days for High Impact Events (60 business days if alcohol is involved) and 20 business days for Low Impact Events.

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Permit Process

The permit application process begins when you submit a completed Street Event Permit application.  The application will only be deemed complete if accompanied by the full application fee.  Keep in mind that acceptance of your application should in no way be construed as approval or confirmation of your request.

Upon receipt of your application, the City’s Street Event Coordinator will distribute copies of your application to all City departments affected by your application for their review.  During the review process you will be notified if your event requires additional information, permits, or licenses.  You will be allowed time to provide the requested information.  Delays in providing these items often delay our ability to finish our review, and issue a Street Event Permit for your event.

The affected departments may contact you individually if they have specific questions or concerns about your event.  Depending on the impact on City services, size and type of event, a meeting with all affected departments, the street event coordinator, and you may be scheduled to clarify questions and concerns.

During the permit process, the City shall determine its capabilities to provide the necessary City services.  No group shall conduct any activities requiring City services in excess of those agreed upon.

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Late Applications

Any application received after the established deadline is a late application.  The City Manager or his designated representative shall not accept late applications unless he/she finds that:

  • The proposed event is in response to an occurrence whose timing did not reasonably allow the applicant to file a timely application; and
  • The imposition of the time limitations would place an unreasonable restriction to free speech rights of the applicant.

When the City Manager finds both of the above conditions to exist, he/she shall grant the application, unless it does not meet the criteria set forth in BMC Chapter 13.44 or there is insufficient time for the City to make necessary preparations for traffic control or other public safety matters prior to the proposed date.

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Cancellation and Revocation of Permits

If an event organizer is unable to hold or conduct the proposed event because of inclement weather or due to some other cause not within the event organizer’s control, and the event organizer submits written request for the refund of such fees to the Office of the City Manager within ten days after the date that the event was to have been held or conducted, the City Manager may authorize the refund of any fees that are not necessary to reimburse the City’s expenses of preparation for the event, except for non-refundable application fees, if any.

The City Manager may revoke a permit at any time, if he/she determines that as a result of inclement weather, conduct of an event would unreasonably damage the street and/or sidewalk for which it is proposed.

The City Manager may revoke a permit at any time, if he/she determines that any provision of BMC Chapter 13.44 or any condition of the permit has not been met or is being violated, or if a person responsible for the promotion or conduct of the event was not shown on the application.

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Any violation of the conditions or rules set forth in the issuance of a permit for the proposed event may result in the cancellation of the event, and may result in depriving the group involved of further use of a facility and/or denial of permit requests.

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Event Accessibility

Event organizers should be aware of their responsibility to ensure that their events are accessible to members of the public with disabilities pursuant to applicable provisions contained in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related non-discrimination laws. The City will work collaboratively with event sponsors and citizens, as resources permit, to ensure maximum feasible accessibility.

Circulation Plan

Event organizers shall provide and follow a written traffic and pedestrian circulation plan for maintaining accessibility for persons with disabilities. The plan shall include information, as appropriate to the event, regarding:

  1. Signage,
  2. Accessible parking,
  3. Pedestrian routes, showing unobstructed sidewalks and curb ramps, paths of travel around equipment and booths, location of temporary accessible ramps where the path of travel extends over a curb and a permanent ramp does not exist,
  4. Number of accessible shuttle vehicles, and
  5. Event facilities such as seating, sales counters, and information booths.

Facility Access

Events shall be held at accessible facilities as defined by the ADA Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and/or Title 24 of the California building code. If the facility provides off-street parking for the public, then disabled parking shall be provided. The facility shall have at least one wheelchair accessible entrance. An uninterrupted path of travel shall be provided for mobility device users from off-street parking and public sidewalks to the accessible entrance(s). Wheelchair accessible restrooms shall be provided.  If drinking fountains and pay telephones are provided, then accessible drinking fountains and pay telephones shall be provided. An accessible path of travel shall connect the accessible entrance, event venue(s), and accessible restrooms, drinking fountains and pay telephones.  Signs shall be provided directing persons to wheelchair accessible features if not all features of the facility are accessible, including entrances, restrooms, drinking fountains, and pay telephones.  Where events take place on sidewalks or parks and adjoining streets, temporary accessible ramps shall be provided between the sidewalk or park and the street at appropriate mid-block locations.


Monitoring and Assisting with Access

Event organizers shall:

  1. Ensure that event staff and vendors are provided information about maintaining accessibility, availability of accommodations, and how to operate access equipment;
  2. Where the public is invited into booths, booths shall be set-up to allow internal accessibility; and
  3. As needed, provide monitors for crowd control and to maintain accessible entries, routes and seating according to an approved circulation plan.


In conformance with federal and state accessibility regulations, all stages shall be made accessible to persons with disabilities.


In any assembly area with fixed seating, space for wheelchair users shall be provided according to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines require that space for one wheelchair be provided in assembly areas with 4-25 fixed seats; space for 2 wheelchairs for areas with 26-50 seats; space for 4 wheelchairs in areas with 51-300 seats; space for 6 wheelchairs in areas with 301-500 seats; and, in spaces with over 500 fixed seats, space for 6 wheelchairs plus 1 additional space for each total seating capacity increase of 100. At least one companion fixed seat shall be provided next to each wheelchair-designated seat. When the seating capacity exceeds 300, wheelchair spaces shall be provided in more than one location and so that a variety of sight lines within the seating area are provided.  When bleachers or viewing stands are provided for public use, such bleachers or viewing stands shall be accessible.


Public Outreach

All advertisements, flyers and announcements about the proposed event shall include a phone, and/or TTY number of the event sponsor, which a member of the public can call when requesting accommodations, with the following language:

“To request disability accommodations, please call * (voice), or * (TTY). 
At least one week’s notice will ensure availability

In addition, all advertisements, flyers and announcements should include:

  1. Information about accommodations that will be available at the event, particularly the times sign-language interpreters may be scheduled for the event; and
  2. Information that parking in the area of the event is limited and encouraging attendees to take public transportation, as well as the relevant public transit information.

Alternative Communication

Event organizers shall submit to the City and implement a plan for alternative communication, including arrangements for auxiliary aids and services as needed for effective communication at the event. The plan should provide for auxiliary aids and services such as large print materials, sign language interpreters, assistive listening systems, TDD (text telephone), and if requested, Braille, written transcripts, or other appropriate aids and services.  While performances and events can have scheduled sign language interpreters, interpreters and other accommodation must be available upon request for all performances and events, assuming adequate notice as stated below.


Accessibility Information

Accessibility information concerning a proposed event shall include: The International Symbol of Accessibility (ISA) and a statement that the meeting or event is “accessible to persons with disabilities”.



Events may not require any surcharge from persons with disabilities for provision of accessibility features and/or an individual disability-related accommodation.


For additional information about ADA physical and program access requirements, please contact the Disability Compliance Program at (510) 981-6342.


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Event organizers hereby agree to abide by the following conditions during the entire event:


  1. Provide the name and phone number of the person responsible for operations during the event.  This person shall be available throughout all hours the event is open to the public.


  1. Carry the approved permit during the street event and shall show it, upon demand, to any City employee.


  1. May not limit the free distribution of literature at the street event by members of the public who have no formal or direct relationship with the event sponsor with respect to the presentation of the street event.


  1. Agrees that, during the use of City of Berkeley public sidewalk, street, median, or other public right-of-way, the proposed event will not exclude any qualified person from participation in, deny anyone the benefits of, or otherwise subject anyone to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, age, handicap, or sexual orientation.


  1. The temporary use or occupancy of a public street shall not unnecessarily obstruct or bar public access onto said street.  Sidewalks shall remain open at all times for pedestrian use.  When the use of the street overlaps onto the adjoining sidewalk, temporary accessible ramps complying with the federal and state standards for accessibility shall be provided from the street to the sidewalk at appropriate mid-block locations.


  1. No object of any nature shall be placed or maintained within any intersection or pedestrian crosswalk, nor shall any vehicle be permitted to be parked in such areas.  All curb ramps shall remain clear of any obstructions.


  1. Organizers must ensure that paths of travel are monitored during events to prevent obstructions.  Appropriate signage should be posted at each temporary wheelchair ramp to identify the ramp as such.


  1. No object of any nature shall be placed or maintained within 15 feet of any fire hydrant or within 5 feet of any fire alarm box or police call box.


  1. A continuous passageway in the roadway with an unobstructed width of at least 20 feet shall be maintained at all times during the period of such use or occupancy for use by emergency vehicles.


  1. No object of any nature shall be fastened to or erected over the surface of the street or sidewalk, and no object shall be affixed to any pole or standard upon any street or sidewalk, without prior written consent of the Director of Public Works.


  1. Painting upon any street or sidewalk surface is prohibited unless a washable paint is used and removal is accomplished before the street is re-opened.


  1. Adequate illumination of the area shall be maintained at all times when such illumination is appropriate.


  1. Official traffic control devices and traffic signal controllers shall not be covered or blocked at any time during the period of such use or occupancy unless the Traffic Engineer has granted permission in writing.


  1. For all High Impact Events, Type III barricades are required when closing all or a portion of a street.


  1. When barricades are placed for closing off streets or other areas, the barricades shall not block access to public sidewalks and pathways needed for participants or for members of the public to use nearby facilities.


  1. All manhole covers and valve box covers shall be kept clear of any fixed object.


  1. All streets and sidewalks within the area for which such permission is granted, shall be kept clean and free from dirt and debris at all times during the period of temporary use or occupancy, and all materials and equipment used in connection with said temporary use or occupancy shall be removed there from within 24 hours of the termination of the period of such use or occupancy.


  1. Unduly interfere with vehicular ingress to, egress from, or travel on a freeway, state designated highway, or major arterial or collector street of the City.


  1. The street event will not interfere with fire or police protection, or public safety, including presenting a substantial or unwarranted traffic or safety hazard.


  1. All street events shall end no later than 10:00 p.m.


  1. Depending upon the types of activities planned, the event sponsor may be required to get permits from the Berkeley Fire Department, Department of Health and Human Services, and/or Department of Parks Recreation and Waterfront.

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Traffic Control Devices

Event organizers for Block Parties and Low Impact Events will be responsible for the placement and maintenance of temporary signs and traffic barricades, etc., assuming no traffic control devices are required to be placed upon a major, collector or scenic route street.  The final decision about what traffic control devices are necessary, and what devices City staff will place rests with the Traffic Engineer in the Department of Public Works.


For High Impact Events, Department of Public Works staff will place and maintain temporary traffic control devices, at the expense of the event sponsors, on major, collector and scenic route streets directly affected by events where lane closures, road closures, and/or turn controls are required to regulate or to guide or warn traffic.


The Traffic Engineer and Berkeley Police Department must approve a traffic plan including detours for all events.

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City Equipment

Event organizers for High Impact Events are responsible for providing the necessary traffic control devices and temporary signs to be used for their event.


No Parking Tow Away Signs

If no parking (vehicles to be towed) is requested within the area of the street event, or beyond, event organizers shall purchase and post the cardboard City of Berkeley “No Parking” signs in accordance with the guidelines established by the Department of Public Works as being necessary for the event area, and beyond.  In addition, the event organizer shall complete the required information on the signs including the approved date(s) and time(s). The event organizer can keep these signs for use at a future special event, authorized by the City of Berkeley.  The use of No Parking or any other parking control sign (or any traffic control device) not authorized by the City of Berkeley is prohibited.


  • Signs need to be posted 72 hours ahead of the enforcement time.  Berkeley Police will not approve towing if less time is given.
  • When posting a metered zone, one sign per meter is needed.  Signs should be posted on the meter pole below the meter collection device.  This will allow access for money collection purpose.
  • Use cable ties or string to attached the signs; tape or any type of glue will not be allowed. After removing the signs, please remove the cable or string, too.
  • If a sign pole is available, and no meter is involved, use pole for posting, but install it below any existing sign. Signs cannot be blocked.
  • If no meter or sign pole is available, provide a barricade to place the NO PARKING sign. For a zone longer than one vehicle, post additional signs and use arrows to point at the parking prohibition zone.

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Parking Meters

If there are parking meters within the street event area, and beyond, that are not available for public use, the event organizers will be assessed the current daily charge per day for each meter, even if the use on one or more days is a partial day.

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Blue Zone Policy

A substitute blue zone must be created for every blue zone displaced or one substitute blue zone for every block, whichever is greater.  Substitute blue zones shall be situated as close as possible to the intersection of the first available cross street to the replaced blue zone.  The temporary blue zone sign shall be affixed to an existing parking meter pole, whenever possible.  In the event of non-existence of parking meters, other permanent fixtures shall be utilized if they are in close proximity (2-3 feet) to the desired parking space, i.e. trees, light poles.  In the alternative, a temporary support may be provided.

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Parking Plan

Please provide a description of your parking plans (i.e., where event attendees will park) including your plan for disabled parking; your plan for towing any cars or equipment before, during or after this event; your plan for emergency vehicle access; and your plan to encourage the public to use public transportation when attending the proposed event.

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Security Plan

Event organizers are ultimately responsible for the safety and welfare of those attending their event.  This includes providing for security needs.  Because every event is unique, a standardized set number of security personnel would offer a false sense of safety.  Therefore, for special events in the City of Berkeley, there is no set ratio of the number of security personnel necessary for special events.  The number of security personnel required will be determined by the event coordinator and the Berkeley Police Department using risk assessment that takes into account the type of event, location, duration, time, potential for danger, history, type of entertainment, whether or not alcohol is being served, any specific information or intelligence received regarding the event, as well as many other factors.  It will remain fully within the rights of the Chief of Police or his designee to dictate a different ratio than that suggested by the event organizer based on the Police Department's own risk assessment.


The event organizer must always designate one person to be responsible for security.  This person will need to interface with the Police Department, and provide necessary information as requested, including contact information.  Additionally, this person must be reachable by law enforcement at the event on the day of the event.


Failure to adequately provide for security needs may lead to future denial or revocation of the permit.


City of Berkeley Police Services

If public safety or traffic impacts are found, off-duty police officers or reserve personnel may be assigned upon the discretion of the Chief of Police or his official designee to monitor such activities and the event organizer will be assessed the cost of such officers.

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First Aid

The following are minimum standards for the provision of first aid at street events.  Based upon factors such as geographic locations, weather conditions, and event history, the Berkeley Fire Department may determine that additional measures are required.


Level 1 – Under 200 persons

  1. No requirement, it is recommended that a first aid kit and trained person be available.


Level 2 – 200 to 4,999 persons

  1. First aid stations, staffed by one person certified in first aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.  Certification of staff must be done by an entity recognized by the Berkeley Fire Department.
  2. Staffing must occur from 30 minute prior to the event and continue until 30 minutes past the event.  It is recommended that the first aid station be open when the event set up begins, and remain open during breakdowns.  The first aid station must be staffed at all times; organizers should make provisions for staffing if meal breaks, etc. are needed.
  3. The first aid station must be marked by a sign no less than 24” tall and 48” long.  The sign should have a large red cross and the words “First Aid”.  Lettering should be no less than 18” tall.  Lettering should be red in color.
  4. Access to a telephone is required.  A phone must be within 50’ of the first aid station, or if a telephone is not within 50’, a cellular phone is required.
  5. Staff must be distinguished from the crowd by wearing either an armband or T-shirt.

Level 3 – 5,000 to 14,999 persons

  1. The same requirements as Level 2 plus one additional first aid staff person on duty at all times.

Level 4 – Over 15,000 persons

  1. The same requirements as Level 2 and Level 3, with the addition of two first aid staff persons.  Depending upon the geographic location of the event, the Berkeley Fire Department may determine that a second first aid station may be required.
  2. The event organizer will hire two uniformed firefighters.  The uniformed firefighters will act as liaisons with the first aid station staff, perform on-site first aid, and perform on-site fire safety inspections.


Required First Aid Station Supplies

  • Five gallons of potable water with cups.
  • At least one cot or similar device to provide a place for a person to lie down in a supine position.
  • An overhead covering to provide an area out of the weather.
  • At least one blanket and pillow.
  • First aid kit that includes basic bandages such as band-aids, roller gauze, sterile gauze pads and ice or cold packs.

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Portable Toilets & Handwashing Sinks

If food and/or beverages are to be served or sold for consumption during the proposed event, event organizers must make provision for temporary or portable toilets and handwashing sinks. For portable toilets, the number required is 1/8 of 1% of the number of attendees.  For handwashing sinks, the number required is one unit for every four toilets.  Such temporary or portable toilets and handwashing sinks must be removed from the event site within 24 hours after the event for which the permit was granted.


At least 10%, with a minimum of one at the event site, of the total number of temporary or portable toilets should be accessible to persons with disabilities.  Each of the accessible toilets must have a sign on them that reads: “Priority is to be given to individuals with disabilities in the use of this accessible facility.”


Example:  10,000 attendees so divide by 8 (this is the 1/8 number) and you get 1250.  Drop the two rightmost numbers (50 in this example) and the answer is 12 portable toilets are required.  Since 12 portable toilets will be provided, two must be accessible to persons with disabilities.  In addition, three handwashing sinks are required.


If restroom facilities in the immediate area of the event site are to be used by attendees during the proposed event, please provide signage as to their location and availability (including ADA accessible and non-ADA accessible facilities).

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 Garbage & Recycling Services

If your proposed event will produce trash or recyclables, you must submit a plan describing your actions for the clean up and removal of garbage and recyclables during and after your event.  Your plan should identify the person responsible for recycling and waste management during and after the event, and the person responsible for the return of any City containers used for the event.  For assistance in planning for your garbage and recycling needs, contact the Department of Public Works, Solid Waste Management Division at (510) 981-7270.

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Special Circumstances


Amplified Sound

Any event organizer wishing to employ the use of amplified sound during their proposed event must apply to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Environmental Health for a one-time permit for that event.  The only sounds permitted shall be either music or human speech, or both.


The sound amplification equipment cannot be utilized in any location for a period in excess of four hours in any twenty-four hour period.  Sound amplifying equipment can only be upon public property between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., and upon private property only between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.


Speakers for sound amplification equipment should be directed, to the extent feasible, toward open or unoccupied space and away from residentially occupied property.  The volume of sound should be so controlled that it will not be unreasonably loud, raucous, jarring, disturbing or a nuisance to reasonable persons of normal sensitiveness with the area of audibility.


The application with the current permit fee must be filed no less than ten business days prior to the date of the event.  If the event organizer is seeking a Noise Variance, the application with the current permit fee must be filed no less than thirty business days prior to the date of the event.  For additional information, please contact the Division of Environmental Health at (510) 981-5310.

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Temporary Food Sales

Any event organizer wishing to sell or give away food to the public during their proposed event must apply to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Environmental Health for a one-time permit for that event, and submit individual vendor applications with required fees.  The permit to operate must be posted for the duration of the proposed event.


A specific individual must be designated by the event organizer to be responsible for distribution of the applicable requirements to each food vendor, and for achieving and monitoring compliance by each food vendor.  The name, address and telephone number of the designated temporary food facilities coordinator must be on file with the Division of Environmental Health.


The application for the permit to operate and completed food sales information (filled out and signed by each food vendor) with the current permit fee must be filed no less than ten business days prior to the date of the event.  For additional information, please contact the Division of Environmental Health at (510) 981-5310.

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Alcoholic Beverages

Any event organizer wishing to have alcoholic beverages sold or consumed during the proposed event must obtain a Bureau of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) permit appropriate to their event after receiving an approval letter from the Chief of Police.  The event organizer should request an approval letter at least thirty days prior to the event.  The event organizer is responsible for complying with all state laws and ABC regulations regarding the sales and service of alcoholic beverages.


The Chief of Police has determined that event staff must control alcohol service and consumption.  At a minimum, there should be a ‘beer/wine garden’ style service including:

  • The point of sale and consumption must be within a confined service area with an identified entrance/exit and barriers, low fencing, chains and stanchions, or similar materials that will serve to define the area and restrict access.
  • The service area may include tables and chairs.
  • Underage persons may be present in the service area if accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • All persons purchasing and consuming alcohol must be over age 21.
  • No alcohol may be taken outside the service area.
  • There shall be no excessive alcohol consumption or service to those who are clearly intoxicated.
  • Event staffing shall be sufficient to ensure compliance with these rules.


Events may have more than one beer/wine garden upon approval of the Chief of Police or his official designee.  Beer, wine and champagne only may be served in the beer/wine garden(s).  Other alcoholic beverages, and tobacco use shall not be permitted.


Events selling or furnishing alcohol may be required to staff the event with an appropriate number of Berkeley Police Officers paid for by the event sponsor, and conform with the City’s alcohol guidelines.  The number of officers required will depend on the geographic size of the event, the expected number of attendees, all activities associated with the event and any past history of problems with this or similar events.  For additional information, please contact the Berkeley Police Department at (510) 981-5800.

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Insurance Coverage


General Liability Insurance

Event organizers are required to show proof of general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 for the proposed event by submitting an original Certificate of Insurance naming the City of Berkeley, its officers, employees, agents, and volunteers as additional insured to the City’s Street Events Coordinator.  The City’s Risk Manager, prior to authorization of the permit, must approve the original Certificate of Insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 showing that general liability insurance coverage is in force for the duration of the event.


Event organizers can purchase liability insurance coverage, based on the hazard class, from the City of Berkeley by contacting the City’s Street Events Coordinator.


Automobile Liability Insurance

If any vehicles are to be operated by the event sponsor in connection with street event activities under the permit, event organizer must provide proof of automobile liability insurance with limits not less than $1,000,000 during the full term of the permit.


General Liability and Automobile Liability Insurance Policies must be endorsed to provide the following:


  • The City of Berkeley, its officers, employees, agents and volunteers named as additional insured;
  • A thirty day notice of cancellation;
  • That such policies are primary insurance to any other insurance available to the additional insured with respect to any claims arising out of activities under the permit, and that insurance applies separately to each insured against whom claim or suit is brought; and
  • Limits of Liability: insurance limits to be established by the City’s Risk Manager, depending upon the nature of the event.


Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If the event organizer has employees, the event organizer shall maintain in force, during the full term of the permit, Workers’ Compensation Insurance with Employer’s Liability not less than $1,000,000 each accident.


Insurance Compliance

No event organizer shall be required to comply with this insurance requirement if the proposed event is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the event organizer provides evidence that complying with the insurance provision is impossible or so financially burdensome that it would preclude the proposed event from occurring.

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Documents Required to be Submitted


In addition to the completed application form, event organizers are required to submit the following documents:


Site Plan

Please attach an accurate drawing to scale on letter size paper showing dimensions of the street, sidewalk, booths and any other objects placed, and also indicate the following:

  • Streets to be closed
  • Emergency vehicle access lane
  • Temporary blue zone(s)
  • AC Transit routes, transit shelters and bus stops
  • Number and location of information, first aid, food, beverage, and/or merchandise booths
  • Number, location, and type of recycling and refuse containers
  • Portable toilets & handwashing sinks, including those which are ADA compliant
  • Stages with ramps, tents, and any other objects


Traffic Detour Plan

Please include the following information on your traffic detour plan

  • All streets (including cross streets) which will be closed or otherwise impacted
  • Location of traffic routing and control devices (barricades, cones, etc.)
  • Directional arrows showing the detour route around the event
  • Location of signs directing the detoured traffic
  • North arrow at bottom


If a Parade is involved, please also include:

  • Staging area
  • Judging area
  • Ending area
  • Location of bleachers, grandstands or related structures
  • Directional arrows showing the exact route of the parade

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Parking Plan

Please provide the following information:

  • Proof that adjacent property owners were notified of the event
  • Proof that adjacent property owners granted permission for event attendees to park on the adjacent property proposed for parking
  • Adequate disabled parking
  • Adequate publicity and signage to direct event attendees to available parking
  • Other efforts to provide shuttle services to and from the event site, and/or to provide information on alternative transportation such as walking, bicycling, carpooling, BART, and AC Transit

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Security Plan

Please describe your plans for the provision of crowd control monitors.  Crowd control monitors must wear armbands and/or such other identification to prominently identify them as monitors, and have a method of communicating, such as a cell phone, with the Berkeley Police Department

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Vendor Information

The City of Berkeley requires the event organizer to have a Business License.  Please contact the Finance Customer Service Center at (510) 981-7200 for the appropriate form(s).


In addition, the City requires each food and beverage vendor to have a Health Permit.  For information, contact the Division of Environmental Health at (510) 981-5310.


Further, the State of California requires each vendor to have a Seller’s Permit to sell merchandise.  If a vendor does not have this license, please contact the State Board of Equalization at (510) 622-4100 for the appropriate form(s).


For each merchandise vendor, please include the following information:

  • Name of Vendor
  • Address & Telephone number
  • Type of merchandise to be sold


Recycling and Waste Management Plan

Please describe your plans for the clean up and removal of garbage and recyclables during and after your event.  Your site plan should show the location of the garbage and recycling containers, and identify the person responsible for recycling and waste management during and after the event, and the person responsible for the return of any City containers used for the event.


Waste Water & Liquids Plan

Please describe how the waste water (soapy water, rinse water, cooking oils, syrups, etc.) will be kept out of the storm drains.

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Insurance Certificate

Please provide proof of general liability insurance (and automobile liability insurance, if required) in the amount of $1,000,000 for the proposed event by submitting an original insurance certificate naming the City of Berkeley, its officers, employees, agents, and volunteers as additional insured.  The insurance certificate shall be endorsed to include the following:


  • A thirty day notice of cancellation;
  • State that coverage afforded on behalf of the City shall be primary insurance and any other insurance available to the City under any other policies or insurance programs shall be in excess of the insurance required hereby; and
  • Limits of Liability: insurance limits to be established by the City’s Risk Manager, depending upon the nature of the event.




NOTE: Failure to fully complete the application and to provide the required documents may result in denial of this request.  Be sure to return the signature page, signed and dated.

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There may be costs associated with your proposed event.  Below are telephone numbers that may be of help to you in getting information and determining costs.


DEPARTMENT                                                                                  PHONE

Special Events Coordinator                                                          (510) 981-7071

Permit application process, and insurance coverage


Finance                                                                                              (510) 981-7200

Business license


Fire                                                                                                     (510) 981-5585

Emergency vehicle access lane; tents, structures or entertainment devices; use of pyrotechnics or other hazardous activities; and first aid plan


Environmental Health Division                                             (510) 981-5310

Amplified sound, temporary food & beverage facilities, and portable toilets & handwashing sinks

Police                                                                                                 (510) 981-5800

Security plan, alcoholic beverage requests, and beer gardens


PW-Office of Transportation                                                           (510) 981-7010

Street closures, traffic detour plan, traffic control devices, parking requests and blue zones

PW-Solid Waste Management                                                         (510) 981-7270

Trash & recycling services


[1] These do not include small, non-profit, school fairs or parades, which would be on local streets and/or otherwise low impact events.

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