The Port regularly hosts a variety of special events that turn waterfront spaces into one-of-a-kind celebrations. Waterfront spaces including parks, public open spaces and facilities are available to host public and private events. Event planners interested in using Port spaces for an event must follow the Port's special event guidelines, which outlines the procedures to obtain necessary event licenses, regulatory approvals and permits. The Port is committed to assisting applicants through the process.
All events hosted at the Port must be permitted. Existing tenants must apply for a Special Event Permit for any event that is not currently allowed under existing Port licenses or leases. Events that require permits include:
- City sponsored events on the Port property
- Bicycle, foot races and other athletic events
- Private or public events on Port property paid for by a sponsor
- Private events on Port property
Events at Master Leased Properties
Several waterfront locations have their own events offices. Please contact the facility directly to inquire about using the space for your upcoming event. Visit Private Events for additional information.
- Pier 27, 29, & 35
- Pier 39
- Pier 15 The Exploratorium
- Ferry Building
- Pier 48 and Giants Parking Lot A
- Pier 70
Key Special Event Information
120 CALENDAR DAYS
Special event applications must be submitted to the Port of San Francisco at least 120 calendar days prior to the event start date/occupancy to ensure adequate processing time.
45 DAY ADVANCE NOTICE
Events located within 100 feet of the shoreline of the Bay are under the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) jurisdiction and will require at least a 45 day advance notice for processing for the required BCDC permit.
15 DAY ADVANCE NOTICE
Applications to reserve street parking for special events must be submitted at least 15 calendar days prior to the start date of enforcement for the requested zone.
Step 1 Event sponsors must complete an application for a License to Use Port Property. Complete a Special Event Application for a License to Use Port Property (Attachment II-A) for submittal to Port’s Real Estate or Maritime Division. See Section II.2 of the Guidelines and Application for Special Events for specific information required.
Step 2 Event sponsor must contact Port’s Real Estate or Maritime Division to initiate the Special Event process. Upon completing the required application forms noted above, contact Port’s Real Estate or Maritime Division to meet with a contact person and initiate the Special Event process. See II.2 and III.2 of the Guidelines and Application for Special Events for specific information on how to initiate the Special Event process.
Step 3 Event sponsors must complete a Mandatory Checklist for Special Event Building Permit Applications and obtain a Special Event Certificate of Approval. See Sections III and IV of the Guidelines and Application for Special Events for specific information on what types of events require a building permit, the requirements for a Special Event Certificate of Approval and the Mandatory Checklist for Special Event Building Permit Applications (Attachment III-B).
Step 4 For Special Events requiring a Port encroachment permit; event sponsors must complete and submit an application for a Port encroachment permit. See Section IV of the Guidelines and Application for Special Events for information on the encroachment permit process.
Step 5 A Temporary No-Stopping Permit is required for any street parking that will be reserved in association with a special event. Applications must be submitted at least 15 calendar days prior to the start date of enforcement for the requested no-parking zone.
Step 6 Once all necessary approvals have been obtained and all required permits are issued and have been picked up by the event sponsor, work approved for the Special Event may begin. Building and encroachment permits are required to be posted at the construction site.
Step 7 Event sponsor must schedule all required inspections and obtain final approvals prior to proceeding with the event.
Special events that occur on The Embarcadero or piers will likely require a permit or approval from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). Events that are located within 100 feet of the Bay shoreline are located within BCDC’s jurisdiction and will require at least a 45 day advance notice for processing for the required permit. The Port will assist event sponsors in identifying if a BCDC permit is necessary and advise on the process for obtaining a permit. However, if BCDC requires that a Special Event meet specified conditions, it is the sole responsibility of the Special Event sponsor to comply with those conditions.