Special Events


Event organizers are required to provide a safe and secure environment for an event. This is accomplished through planning and anticipating potential problems and concerns. To help you prepare:

Special Event Permit Fees

The initial event permit fee is based on the type of the event and the number of people who will attend the event.

Late Fee

You must have your application submitted per the deadline schedule for the event you are planning or a late fee will be assessed.

Most applications must be submitted either 10 or 30 calendar days prior to the event date.

Temporary assembly occupancy and firework display permit applications must be submitted 30 days prior to the event date.

We must receive applications at least four business days prior to an event. If applications are received three or fewer business days prior to the event, they may not be processed, and no permit will be issued.

When a permit is required:

Operating a carnival, expo, fair or alterations to the existing exiting configuration, character or use of the facility in any manner. When using a liquid or gas fueled vehicle or equipment for display or competition inside an assembly occupancy. Separate permits are required for use of candles or other open flame devices, flammable or combustible liquids or gases, special effects/pyrotechnics (fireworks), cryogenics or any time a material or operations is introduced into an assembly occupancy that could possibly pose a hazard.

Questions about Special Events

Fees can be found under the “Special Events and Assembly Occupancies” section of our Permit Applications page.

When a permit is required:

Operating a carnival, expo, fair or alterations to the existing exiting configuration, character or use of the facility in any manner. When using a liquid or gas fueled vehicle or equipment for display or competition inside an assembly occupancy. Separate permits are required for use of candles or other open flame devices, flammable or combustible liquids or gases, special effects/pyrotechnics (fireworks), cryogenics or any time a material or operations is introduced into an assembly occupancy that could possibly pose a hazard.

Note: If an outdoor, confined space event is attached to or occurs in conjunction with an indoor space, the cumulative attendance for both spaces is used to determine if a permit is required.

You will need a temporary assembly occupancy (special assembly) permit for the following situations:

  • Carnival
  • Expo
  • Fair
  • Festival
  • Venue does not have a valid annual assembly occupancy (general assembly) permit

If the venue has a valid annual assembly occupancy (general assembly) permit, you will need a temporary assembly occupancy (special assembly) permit when altering the existing exiting configuration, character, or use of the facility in any manner:

  • Change of use or type
  • Change in type of activity 
  • Increase in occupancy load 
  • Change in exits 
  • Separate permits are required for use of candles or other open flame devices, flammable or combustible liquids or gases, cryogenics, or any time a material or operation is introduced into an assembly occupancy that could possibly pose a hazard, such as vehicle displays or performances that include flame effects/pyrotechnics (e.g. fireworks).

Permit applications are available: 

Online or in person. You can also contact us by phone (206) 386-1450 and request an application by mail or email.

Please review the tent page for more information.

Only electric heaters are allowed inside the tent. All other heaters require a permit and must be on the exterior of the tent.  Propane heaters must be a minimum 10 feet away from the tent and exits.

Your permit is contingent upon meeting the conditions attached to it. The floor plans attached to the permit constitute a portion of the permit conditions. Any variation from them invalidates the permit. Changes will be considered prior to the event you are planning. The requested changes may or may not be approved. If you need to make changes call (206) 386-1450 and ask to speak to a representative in Special Events.

A special events inspector is required to approve your event. If this is the first time you have applied for a permit and an inspector is available, we will try to accommodate you as best we can. This is not a guarantee that your event will be approved. If an inspector is available to look at the plans and / or the site for the event, all Seattle Fire Code requirements must still be met before the permit can be approved. 

Important:  Permit applications received less than 10 calendar days prior to the event for which they are being used, or 30 days for more complex permit types, will be assessed an additional late penalty of 50% of the original permit fee. Applications received 3 business days or less prior to the event may not be processed and the permit may not be issued.

All curtains, draperies, hangings and other decorative materials suspended from walls or ceilings are required by the Seattle Fire Code to be flame retardant. A flame certificate indicating the product or item meets NFPA 701 or California State Fire Marshal requirements must be available on - site for verification. A flame certificate should be available from the manufacturer upon request.

When a product is not flame retardant or there is no flame certificate available, it must be treated by a third party to render it flame retardant. They should then provide a flame certificate indicating the product or item meets NFPA 701 or California State Fire Marshal requirements for flame retardancy.

Yes. A liquid or gas-fueled vehicle or equipment can be displayed in an assembly occupancy under the following conditions:

  • Maximum fuel: 1/4 of a tank or 5 gallons whichever is less 
  • All gas covers taped or have a locking type gas cap 
  • Battery cables disconnected and taped 

Vehicles with no fuel gauge or with broken fuel gauge are not allowed on the event floor and cannot be displayed, without prior approval from us.

There are additional fire and life safety requirements for Fire Performance Art.

No. Igniting and/or releasing sky lanterns is not allowed.

If the event is open to the public or if a fee is charged for entry, then a permit is required.

Outdoor event with less than 100 people and a tent with one or more walls that exceeds 400 square feet in area.

  • Only a tent permit will be required

Outdoor event with 100 or more people and a tent with one or more walls that exceeds 400 square feet in area

  • A temporary place of assembly permit and a tent permit are required. Note: There will only be a fee collected for the temporary place of assembly permit and not the tent permit.

Outdoor event with less than 500 people and a tent with no walls that exceeds 700 square feet in area.

  • Only a tent permit will be required

Outdoor event with 500 or more people and a tent with no walls that exceeds 700 square feet in area.

  • A temporary place of assembly permit and a tent permit are required. Note: There will only be a fee collected for the temporary place of assembly permit and not the tent permit.

                 


 

TENT / EVENT ATTENDANCE


 


 

1-99 people


 

 

100-499 people


 

 

500+ people


 

 

One or more walls, 1-400 square feet in area


 

 

No permit required


 

 

Temporary place of assembly permit only


 

 

Temporary place of assembly permit only


 

 

One or more walls, >400 square feet in area


 

 

Tent permit only


 

 

Temporary place of assembly permit and tent permit


 

 

Temporary place of assembly permit and tent permit


 

 

No walls, 1-700 square feet in area


 

 

No permit required


 

 

No permit required


 

 

Temporary place of assembly permit only


 

 

No walls, >700 square feet in area


 

 

Tent permit only


 

 

Tent permit only


 

 

Temporary place of assembly permit and tent permit