Planning an Event

Event Planning Basics:

With their open grass areas, playgrounds and shaded picnic areas, Phoenix city parks are a great place to hold a gathering or event. The information and links below will make it easier for you to plan your event and avoid conflicts with other park visitors and plan your event. (Want to film at a city park? You may need a permit. See details listed below).

Large-scale events in city parks of more than 50 people that will be open to the public need to be arranged directly with department staff well in advance. Fees and certain restrictions may apply.

Many gatherings require park users to submit a special activity request or, if city streets will be used, to obtain a special events permit. We've also put together a list of *recommended parks (*requires Adobe Reader to access) to help you pick the right location.


Organized gatherings fall into four main categories:

  1. Private gatherings of 50 or fewer people that will NOT include use of an inflatable (bounce house), amplified sounds, athletic field use/reservation or beer permit. For these gatherings, no formal request is needed, however we ask that you please contact department staff with your plans so we can identify any potential scheduling conflicts with other groups.

  2. Private gatherings of 50 or fewer people that will involve use of an inflatable or bounce house, athletic field(s) or beer permit. Consuming beer and using an inflatable both require permits; beer permits cost $28 and inflatable permits cost $10. Both can be obtained at any community/recreation center or administrative office. Additional fees apply for athletic field use.

  3. Private gatherings of 50 or more people or any size gathering that utilizes special equipment such as, but not limited to, amplified sound, catering, tents, staging equipment, etc. For these gatherings, you must fill out an online special activity request form.

  4. Large-scale events in city parks of more than 50 people that will be open to the public need to be arranged directly with department staff well in advance. Fees and other restrictions may apply for public events in city parks. Organizers of most public events on city property are required to hold liability insurance for their event.


It's important to remember that a Special Activity Request does not guarantee availability of park areas. Many areas are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. If staff grants a special activity request, it often means that you have permission to use park space when it's available. This also is the main reason you should complete the process -- it allows us to spot potential conflicts in advance and steer visitors to less-busy alternative sites.

The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department staff has the right to cancel any activity deemed to be disruptive, hazardous, damaging to the facility or that threatens the safety of participants/ spectators. The user group is responsible for reimbursing the city for any damage caused to property resulting from improper use or failure to follow city policies.

Want to film at a city park? Many video and film shoots, including but not limited to student films, commercial photography, TV shows, and documentaries, require a permit from the City of Phoenix Film Office. Check the Film Office website for contact information and other details on shooting on city property.

Liability Insurance Requirements:

 Organizers of most public events on city property are required to hold liability insurance for their event. To simplify this process, the City of Phoenix has created a tenant user liability insurance program. The program gives you an easy way to obtain event liability insurance that automatically meets the city's coverage standards.


Links for Planning an Event/Gathering in a Phoenix Parks and Recreation Area

Other Helpful Links

Events Held on City Streets...

Phoenix city streets are the site of dozens of public special events each year such as parades, runs, cycling races and parades, while city parks host everything from family reunions and birthday parties to large public events. 

If you want to use a city street for an event, our City Street Special Event Planner outlines everything you need to know.  

​Planning an Event on a City Street


 

Want to film at a city park?

Many video and film shoots, including but not limited to student films, commercial photography, TV shows, and documentaries, require a permit from the City of Phoenix Film Office. Check the Film Office website for contact information and other details on shooting on city property.

Commercial Filming/Photography On City Owned Property


Stage and Equipment Rental

If you're holding a public event in a Phoenix city park or on city streets, you're eligible to rent the department's mobile "Showmobile" stage and its professional sound system. Please check below for information on City Mobile Stage and Sound System rental for your event. Costs vary depending on the nature of the rental, but  you can check our event equipment information below to get a general estimate of rental costs.


Small Showmobile:

  • 15 ft. deep x 17 ft. widesmalshow.jpg

  • Showmobile comes with two staff.  Set up and tear down time is 4 hours, plus time of event (minimum is 6 hours).

  • Outside Department Charges: Staff cost is $60 per hour, per staff person. There is an additional fee of $15 per hour if sound tech is required.

 

Large Showmobile:

  • 14 ft. deep x 36 ft. wide.lgshoow.jpg

  • Showmobile comes with three staff.  Set up and tear down time is 4 hours, plus time of event (minimum is 6 hours).

  • Outside Department Charges: Staff cost is $60 per hour, per staff person. There is an additional fee of $15 per hour if sound tech is required.


Sound Equipment Only:

  • Sound only for an event includes two staff. Set up and tear down is 4 hours, plus time of event (minimum is 6 hours).
  • Equipment includes microphones, stands, speakers, amplifiers, mixer board, CD/cassette/iPod player
  • Outside Department Charges: Staff cost is $60 per hour, per staff person. There is an additional fee of $15 per hour for the sound tech.

Other:

  • Daytime events will be able to operate off showmobile generator. For night-time use, event sponsor will need to rent 25kw generator in order to operate lights and sound. Generator provided cannot operate lights and sound together.
  • Usage fees are due at the time booking is finalized.
  • Booking requests made less than 30 days out from the event may not be approved due to staff scheduling conflicts.
  • Showmobile and/or sound can only be used in a City of Phoenix park or City right of way event.

 

For reservations contact Tyre Davis
602-534-4810 or via e-mail


​Special Activity Request Information (Required for activities over 50 people)

When planning to use a City of Phoenix facility for a special activity or event, it is important to be aware that some restrictions may apply. We have compiled the following list of guidelines to assist you in your planning efforts. Once you read through the list, you can access the request form through the link at the bottom of the page.
  • City Code 23-14 (G) Prohibits loud music - Amplified music requires formal staff approval and will be used only to the extent that the noise does not interfere with other park users and/or the neighborhood. Event/group responsible must comply with any requests to lower sound from park rangers, police, neighbors, and other park users. If approved, amplified music or sound is limited to specific times at certain parks with a fee of $10.00.
  • City Code 24-38 - Possession of alcohol in the park without a permit is not permissible. An alcohol permit is needed if alcohol is present. A permit must be purchased if alcoholic beverages are to be brought onto city premises. Only beer is allowed in City of Phoenix Parks. The cost is $28.00 per permit. The person filing for a permit must be on-site at all times during the event and is responsible for the conduct of all group members.
  • City Code 24-39(A) - Possession of any glass containers presents a safety hazard and is not permitted in any City of Phoenix Park.
  • City Code # 24-40 - Unauthorized vending or selling on park property is prohibited and will not be permitted.
  • City Code # 24-51 -Motor vehicles are restricted to the parking lot. Do not drive on sidewalks or open space areas. Equipment or supplies such as, tables, chairs etc. must be carried to the park area from the parking lot.
  • There is a normal processing period of 5-10 business days for requests. Some requests requiring special handling may require up to one year for approval from either City staff or the Parks and Recreation Board. Please submit your requests in a timely manner with this in mind. If any dignitaries are expected, they should be listed on the request form. Please do not advertise your event until you have received approval. The City of Phoenix is not responsible for lost deposits or commitments made to vendors.
  • All picnic facilities/ramadas are available on a first come, first served basis only (except for a select ramadas in the Mountain Preserves, and at Encanto, Steele Indian School, and Margaret T. Hance parks.) This request does not guarantee the facility for your use; however it allows us to monitor and avoid conflicts with other park patrons or with scheduled City sponsored events and activities.
  • Certificates of Insurance: Various activities will require insurance and/or special permits. After receiving your request, City staff will notify you to provide these documents if needed. The insurance should be for $2,000,000 and should be worded as follows: "City of Phoenix, a municipal corporation, its officers, officials, agents and employees are listed as additional insured." Also state the designated park/area, time and date of event. It is possible to submit a `blanket coverage certificate` good for one year for events in city parks. If insurance is required, it must be submitted to City staff at least thirty days prior to the event.
  • The City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department staff has the right to cancel any activity deemed to be disruptive, hazardous, damaging to the facility or threatening the safety of participants/spectators. The user group is responsible for reimbursing the city for any damage caused to property resulting from improper use or failure to follow city policies.
  • The individual making the Special Activity Request must be on-site at all times during the event, and will be responsible for ensuring participants, caterers, etc. are aware of and adhere to all City policies, rules and regulations.
  • Events involving vending, selling or registering participants for paid programs or events are not permitted on park property.
  • Leave No Trace! It is your responsibility to leave the site clean. Special attention is expected to be given regarding decorations whichmay leave an inordinate amount of debris. Trash cans must be emptied into main dumpsters. Charcoal should be extinguished and allowed to cool before user group leaves the site. Some events may require the user group to remove their own trash from the park.
  • Basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts are available on a first come, first served basis only. They must be used for their designated purpose.
  • Softball and soccer fields can be reserved upon payment, in person, at department offices. Athletic field reservations must be made at least two working days prior to the reservation date. A minimum of two hours is required.
  • A pre-event walk through of the site may be required by City of Phoenix Parks Staff.
  • Activity set-ups may not block or limit access to public areas such as restrooms, playgrounds, parking lots or sidewalks.
  • No power will be available at park locations.
  • No water activities are allowed in the parks.
  • No petting zoos, pony rides, etc. allowed in the parks.
  • All inflatablesrequire approval and a $10.00 fee for each inflatable.​
Submit Special Activity Request