What defines an event as a “special event?”
There are several parameters that can be used to determine if an event is, and should be permitted as, a special event. If your event is to occur on City (public) property and you can answer yes to any (or all) of these questions, the event probably needs a permit:
- Are you expecting more than 1,000 people to attend your event?
- Will you be selling (or serving) alcohol at your event?
- Is there an admission fee of any kind to get into your event?
- Will your event require the use of city services? For instance, will you need streets to be closed (public works)? Will you need security (police department)?
What other City expenses will I have to pay for my event?
Event organizers are responsible for the cost of all City services provided to their event. This might be paying public works for closing and reopening the streets for your event or for police officers to provide security for your event. These will be billed to the organizer after the event.
See the answer to the next question to learn about getting an estimate of city-services costs for your event.
What happens once I’ve submitted my application?
You will be contacted and invited to a meeting with the City’s special-event committee to discuss your event and its needs. These meetings are held monthly and include event organizers and representatives from city departments that usually provide support for special events (police, fire, public works, etc.).
Concerns and questions about your event will be discussed at this meeting to help determine if a permit should be granted for your event (and what, if any, changes need to be made in the event plans before a permit can be permitted). This will also allow the City to determine how much support will be needed at your event and a cost estimate for this support.
When is my special-event-permit application due?
There are a few factors that determine this…
- If this is a first-time event, your application is due no later than 90 days prior to your event for consideration.
- If this is a repeat event (which means the special events committee has reviewed an application in the past and is somewhat familiar with your event), the application is due no later than 60 days prior to the event.
Failure to meet these deadlines will result in your event not being approved for a permit, since the City will not have adequate time to schedule its services accordingly.
Where do I submit my special-event-permit application?
Applications must be submitted online:
Does the City require my event to have insurance?
Yes, all events that occur on City property must have at least $1 Million of liability coverage and the City must be listed as an additionally-insured party on the policy. Don’t panic! Most insurance providers are familiar with the procedure for including additionally insured parties and can help you with that.
The City of Lynchburg requires the following language to be added to your policy to meet this requirement:
The certificate holders must read as follows:
The City of Lynchburg
900 Church Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504
Under the description part of the insurance it must read:
“The City of Lynchburg, its officers, officials and employees are named as additional insured.”
Certificates for insurance must be on file with the Office of Economic Development & Tourism prior to the event date. Certificates may be mailed to the address listed above or emailed to Anna.Bentson@lynchburgva.gov.
How many people can attend my event?
Without knowing the specific details of your event, there is no one correct answer. Special events are held at a variety of venues and have many variables that affect the support needs and capacity. Please contact the Office of Economic Development & Tourism to discuss your event and determine a preliminary capacity.
What if my event needs security?
The City requires most, if not all, special events to have a certain level of security in order for the permit to be approved.
Security at all special events occurring on City property is managed and staffed by the Lynchburg Police Department. The number of officers needed will be determined during the special-events–application process and set before your permit is approved. As noted above, the event coordinator is responsible for labor costs associated with this service and will be billed following the event.
Can I promote my event before the permit has been approved?
You can; BUT…this comes with the risk that your event will either not be approved (and the City does not consider that an event has been promoted towards its approval) or that significant changes would be required (a venue change to meet your attendance needs, for instance) before approving the permit.
For this reason, it is suggested that you submit your application as early as is absolutely possible for consideration by City staff so all variables can be determined and the permit approved early enough for effective promotion.
What if I have other questions, or if the answers above just don’t cut it?
The Office of Economic Development & Tourism is here to help you with all your questions and concerns! Please contact Anna Bentson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 455-4493.