Outdoor Special Events Office

link to 2019 festivals guide


Permitting Outdoor Special Events on Public Property

The Community & Economic Development Department manages outdoor special event consultations, permitting, partnerships, lease agreements, and city service coordination for all event and festival productions on city-owned propertysidewalks, streets, and parks. All outdoor special events on public property require the receipt of an application package and final approval by the City of Asheville Outdoor Special Event Team.

The Outdoor Special Events office at Community & Economic Development serves as the City’s one-stop shop for outdoor special event applicants. We work to provide the connections, resources, and guidance needed for consideration of special event uses of outdoor public space. From mobile marketing experiences to neighborhood block parties, from runs and walks for charity, to festivals and commercial filming projects, the Outdoor Special Events office works across multiple internal departments and outside agencies to help ensure seamless coordination of the approvals and support services needed for each event. Outdoor special events are ultimately approved by unanimous consent of the Outdoor Special Event Team, with all supporting City permits released to the applicant through the Outdoor Special Events office upon completion of all required components.

18-19 Outdoor Special Event Guide Cover Image

Step 1: Review the Outdoor Special Event Guide. A comprehensive guide to fees, timelines, policies, and production requirements.

Step 2: Click here if you’d like to schedule a phone call or office visit for questions and assistance.

Step 3: Check our working calendar of the year’s public space uses currently in planning.

Step 4: Submit a Public Space Inquiry Form with your top 3 preferred locations and dates for the event. (10 months in adv. max.)

Step 5: We’ll be back in touch in 2 weeks with an invitation to apply, including a link to the required applications and forms.


outdoor special event resource librarySpecial Event Resource Library

The links to resources in this document are available for all event organizers. While not comprehensive of every item that may be needed for your event, these tools and informational resources can go a long way to help you plan the best and safest event possible. In this library, you will find supplemental application forms and documents pertaining to event safety, food service, local event service providers, property information and maps, a checklist tool for the City of Asheville’s Outdoor Special Event permitting requirements with due dates, and much more. This document is updated frequently with new information as it becomes available. You’ll want to save the doc link to your favorites!

mobile food vending at 68 haywood st

Mobile Food Vending at 68 Haywood Street

The City of Asheville is continuing a pilot program for 2019 to encourage entrepreneurship and vibrancy downtown, removing barriers to mobile food vending at 68 Haywood St. during periods when the property is open to the public and not otherwise reserved for traditional outdoor special events. The Mobile Food Vending Pilot Program continues a process through the Outdoor Special Events office that authorizes food trucks and food carts to conduct sales of food and beverages through an abbreviated registration form and flexible daily use permit process. The 68 Haywood St. property can accommodate up to four (4) food trucks or food carts at one time. Food vendor participation is not scheduled in advance; spaces are open and available to those vendors possessing an OSE Permit for Mobile Food Vending Pilot that arrive first.

Street Performer Guidelines

Permits are not required for sidewalk performers who wish to busk downtown during periods when sidewalks, streets, and parks are not otherwise reserved for outdoor special events. Check out the pamphlet and the full list of rules and etiquette here, or find a physical copy at the Pack Square Park Pavilion, at the Asheville Downtown Association’s brochure rack, and at Asheville City Hall.  The rules and regulations are outlined in an easy-to-digest format — first with some busking etiquette from the Asheville Buskers Collective (take two hour turns, watch your crowd size, keep your amps turned down) and second, with some rules from the City such as to avoid obstructing sidewalks, doorways or streets and provide a minimum of 6 feet of pedestrian passageway. No selling or displays of any tangible good in exchange for money or donation is allowed. Performances may only be between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Special Event Location Map (2-Week Outlook)

The locations of permitted special events on public property are one of many features available to view within the Operational Layers on the City’s ArcGIS geographic information system. Click here to view a map of outdoor special event locations, timeframes, and event contact information. The map is updated once each week for the following two-week period. The ArcGIS system also allows for additional features to be added by clicking the Layers icon in the upper right-hand corner of the map. Additional features include the locations of nearby parking garages, public restrooms, ART bus routes and stops, bike routes, greenways, parks, streets, sidewalks, and public art.


Outdoor Special Events on Private Property

You will not need to consult with or apply for permits through the Outdoor Special Events office for special uses and events held exclusively and entirely within indoor or outdoor privately-owned properties. Instead, please visit the Development Services Department located in the Public Works Building at 161 South Charlotte Street (828-259-5946) to apply for the appropriate temporary use permits with a residential or commercial permit facilitator.  A Temporary Use Permit Application for an event held on a privately-owned property will most often require:

  1. Site map showing details of proposed temporary uses
  2. Proof of property ownership or lease
  3. List of contractors (electrical, tent/inflatable rental services, construction) involved in the event
  4. An Emergency Action Plan

Contact Information


Jon Fillman, Outdoor Event Manager
Phone: (828) 259-5738
Email: jfillman@ashevillenc.gov

Angelica Driver, Event Coordinator
Phone: (828) 259-5844
Email: adriver@ashevillenc.gov

Community & Economic Development Department
Asheville City Hall, 70 Court Plaza, 5th Floor
Asheville, NC 28801

(Mailing Address: PO Box 7148, Asheville, NC, 28802)


report - impact of special events