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Outdoor Events

Important Notes

  • Noise is a key consideration for outdoor events since amplified sound can carry far and disturb our neighbors on and off-campus. Extra lead-time for planning is often required for outdoor events that involve amplified sound.
  • Verbal agreements, emails and contracts are legally binding in the State of California. Student orgs are not authorized to enter into any agreements for performers without prior university approval. All contracts over $500 must be co-signed by SAL and require the funds in your account prior to any agreement.
  • Lead-time for small, outdoor activities without amplified sound is 4 weeks; small outdoor concerts require 6 weeks and large, all campus-events require a 2 quarter lead-time.​

Key Policies

Planning Tips

Planning Time

  • Check the OSE Planning Calendar to schedule your event around other major University events. 
  • Consult with OSE about possible dates early.
  • Consult with OSE and other University partners as you begin your planning, especially regarding venues, contractual agreements and noise.  Besides OSE Interns, other good resources include Stanford Concert Network and Stanford ARTS.

Build a Budget

  • Your budget should be based on actual quotes for space, tech, food, set-up, trash, and on occasion porta potties.  The greatest variable can be technical costs so you will want to obtain artist requirements from the outset, especially if you need access to power outsdie.
  • Obtain an actual estimate from Department of Public Safety early if your event will require security.

Get Funding

  • Exhaust on-campus funding sources prior to off-campus sources. Remember, off-campus sources requires prior university approval and can take considerable time.
  • You must have all necessary funds in your account before your event can be approved, you can sign a contract or advertise the event.

Find a Venue

  • Start with OSE's venue sheets. Most outdoor venues can be reserved through Scheduling Office. See alternative outdoor spaces or consider White Plaza. Check 25Live for availability for classroom spaces and Tresidder Union. 
  • Remember do not book space directly through 25Live.

Contracts and Agreements

  • Student orgs cannot make offers or contractual commitments over $500 without OSE approval.​ You can discuss, but do not commit until you have funds, space and approval. 

Order Equipment and Services

Food and Beverages

  • Food sales require permits from Santa Clara County which take additional time and some cost. 
  • If you are selling the food yourself you will need to charge sales tax. Consult with ASSU banking for details.
  • If you arrange for an off-campus entity to provide the food they must have a current food license and tax ID number.
  • Alcohol is not permitted in many outdoor spaces so consult with OAPE for details.

Advertise Your Event

  • Off-campus advertising and work with the press should be discussed with OSE early in your planning. Advertising off-campus usually necessitates the hiring of university security, especially important for outdoor events.

Host Guests

  • Don't forget to consider travel and lodging, if needed, in your planning.
  • Some artists and performers will require a dressing/green room, which should be arranged at the time you book space.

Security and Safety

  • Security can help with crowd control, traffic and security for high-profile visitors. Ultimate security levels are determined by the Department of Public Safety and are often required for large, all-campus events or events open to non-Stanford guests.

For Final Approval

  1. A realistic budget with quotes for tech from Events Services and security from Public Safety.
  2. Needed funds in your account.  Remember to apply to ASSU funding very early.
  3. A security and noise plan.
  4. Large and complex events require planning meetings with OSE.  Some will require a formal review by the Student Events Group. See OSE for details.

On occasion the university may cancel an event after approval because funds proved insufficient, work orders for required tech or security were not done or other compelling circumstances.

Final Event Checklist