The ACE permitting process has been established to create a streamlined approach to the planning, review, and on-site management of events in the city.

Check out this flowchart (pdf) to better understand how the application process works.


Activity Requiring a Special Event Permit

Special Events are events that...

  • Have 50 or more attendees per day at a city facility, other than the Austin Convention Center, Long Center, City Hall, or Palmer Events Center
  • Impact a city street, sidewalk, alley, walkway, or other city public right-of-way other than as permitted under Chapter 14-8 (Temporary Closure for Special Events and Block Parties)

OR

  • Are temporary, involve 50 or more attendees per day, inconsistent with the permanent use to which the property may legally be used, or the occupancy levels permitted on the property, and include one of the following:
    • Set up of temporary structures, including, but not limited to: tents, stages, or fences
    • Use of sound equipment in an area not fully enclosed by permanent, solid walls, and roof
    • Provision of food or beverages, including alcohol.
       

Tier Definitions

An event’s designated tier determines which set of deadlines to follow. Applications for events submitted outside of their tier timeline are subject to denial. During the application review period, ACE will engage in an interactive process with applicants.

Follow this flowchart (pdf) to find your special event's tier.

A Tier 1 special event does not include the consumption of alcohol and:

  • Is stationary, impacts only one block of a sidewalk or a city right-of-way that is not a street, and only needs a permit issued under Chapter 14-8 (Temporary Closure for Special Events and Block Parties)

OR

  • Is moving and consists exclusively of people in a police escorted bubble

OR

  • Is an assembly at a city facility, lasts less than five hours, and does not include food or beverages or a request to increase the permanent occupancy limit

A Tier 2 special event:

  • Is an assembly at a city facility that estimates attendance at less than 2,500 attendees per day

OR

  • Is an assembly lasting four days or less, that is held primarily on private property, and that estimates attendance at less than 2,500 attendees per day

OR

  • Is stationary and impacts up to two blocks of a street, sidewalk, or city right-of-way

A Tier 3 special event is not covered by Tiers 1, 2, or 4.

A Tier 4 special event:

  • Is an assembly at two or more city facilities and that includes the use of city streets, sidewalks, or rights-of-way’s

OR

  • Has an estimated need, based on its permit application, for $100,000 or more in city services, staff time, and equipment

Use this tier calculator as a preliminary planning tool—your official tier will be determined by ACE staff once you submit an application.


Permitting Timelines

Completed Application Submission Deadlines:

  • Tier 1 = 3 business days from first event day
  • Tier 2 = 30 calendar days from first event day
  • Tier 3 = 120 calendar days from first event day
  • Tier 4 = 180 calendar days from first event day

Applications to host a Neighborhood Block Party must be submitted at least 10 calendar days before the planned event.