Special Event FAQ’s
What types of events require a special event permit?
A Special Event is any activity that occurs upon public or private property that affects the ordinary use of parks, playgrounds, beaches, fields, buildings, public streets, right-of-way, or sidewalks and it may feature entertainment, amusements, food and non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverages. Examples of a Special Event include (but are not limited to) festivals, road races, Farmer’s Markets, block parties, carnivals and parades.
Do I need to submit a special event application if my event is not open to the public?
Your event may still require a Special Event permit even if it is not open to the public. If your event will have a public impact (i.e. Street Parking, Traffic) or change the use of or exceed the occupancy of the building hosting the event.
How do I submit my special event application?
The City of Pittsfield has online permitting for the submittal of Special Event Permit Applications. Click here for more detailed information.
If you do not own a computer or if you need assistance using a computer, both are available. A computer kiosk is located on the mezzanine level of 100 North Street in the Building Inspections office. Office hours are Monday - Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Assistance can be obtained by contacting the Recreation & Special Events Coordinator at 413-499-9371 Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..
What other types of fee might be required for my event?
There are different fees associated with events, depending on the details of the event. A twenty-five ($25) dollar nonrefundable application processing fee is expected at the time of the application, unless otherwise specified. Below you will find a summary of other fees for which you may be responsible:
- Special One-Day Wine and Malt permit fee of $20 , additional event insurance may be required
- Dumpster permit for any dumpster placed in a public right of way
- Temporary use of gas or propane Permit
- Tent permit for tents more than 700 square feet
- Use of the City’s portable stage
- Grills/ propane permit fee of $25
- Food Vendor permit
- Entertainment License
- Sales and Concession (requires a State and Local Licensing Board permit)
- Sidewalk, street closure or obstruction permit
- Police Department security detail/ Fire Watch detail
- After hour inspections
Please note: Use of City buildings, schools, Wahconah Park and Controy Pavilion have separate paperwork and may have fees.
How can I get assistance or information about the Special Events Application process?
Assistance can be obtained by contacting the Recreation & Special Events Coordinator at 499-9371. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Can I host an event on private property with permission of the owner?
Picking a location on private property is between you and the owner of the property. All applications for special events held on private property must contain proof of permission from property owner.
How can I become a vendor at a special event?
All vendors that handle, prepare, transport, and/or serve food, non-alcoholic beverages, and pre-packaged retail food must file an application with the Pittsfield Board of Health. This permit is separate from the special event permit. Application fees apply. Please contact the event host or the Health Department at 499-9411 for more information
How can I reserve the use of a city park?
If your event will be in a city park, you will need to appear before the Parks Commission for approval; this will be the third sign-off (Community Development/Parks). To get on a meeting agenda, you will need to submit the application online at least 45 days prior to your event. The Parks Commission meets the third Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. A representative from the event organization must be present at the meeting. If you have questions, contact the Recreation & Special Events Coordinator at 499-9371.
Who is responsible for all trash removal at my special event?
Event sponsor is responsible for trash collection and removal. Review details with property owner / manager. Dumpster permits are issued by the Fire Department 448-9764 Located at 100 North Street – Mezzanine Level Office Hours: 7:30am to 3:00pm
Do I need insurance for my event?
Insurance is required for all Events held on City property and any events serving alcohol.
When alcohol is served or sold, an insurance rider in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence with a $1,000,000 aggregate is required. Be aware that such coverage usually requires a thirty-day lead time.
When renting City property, an insurance rider in the amount of $500,000 per occurrence with a $1,000,000 aggregate is required.
The vendor must submit an insurance certificate for all coverage, listing the City of Pittsfield as an additional insured, to the Purchasing Department prior to the event. Contact Purchasing Department (413-499-9470) with any insurance-related questions.
What information will I be asked to provide if I complete the Special Event Application?
Information needed includes asking questions that help staff understand how the event will impact public health and safety as well as what impact the event could have on the public facility. A complete understanding helps staff provide guidance during the planning process: location of event, date/ time, number of attendees expected, age group of participants/audience, type of event and activities to occur during the event (i.e. road race, parade, walkathon, block party), presence of food or alcohol, live or amplified music, need for electricity, staging, amusements (rides, live animals, raffles), road closures and sidewalk obstructions.
What City Departments might need to be involved if I am scheduling a Special Event?
Several different City departments provide support services and permits for special events, including the Police Department, Fire Department, Community Development/Parks Commission, Building Maintenance, Building Inspections, Health Department, Public Services, Public Utilities, and the Licensing Board.
What if I want to have live entertainment?
Under MGL ch. 140 sec. 183 and City of Pittsfield Regulations, entertainment requires a One Day Entertainment License from the License Board. Contact the Licensing Board Clerk at 499-9363
What if I want to serve alcohol at my event?
Under MGL ch. 183 sec. 14 and City of Pittsfield Regulations, alcohol will require a One Day Alcohol License from the License Board. Contact the Licensing Board Clerk at 499-9363
What type of process is involved in hosting a parade or festival?
Under MGL ch. 140 sec. 181, a parade, carnival or festival requires a license through the Local Licensing Authority.
Do I need a permit to do filming on City property?
Yes, you must complete a Special Event application. Upon review, the Pittsfield Police Department will inform you as to what permits would need to be secured. Contact the Recreation & Special Events Coordinator at 499-9371 for help with this process.
What if I am scheduling a large and/or complicated event that might require me to coordinate with multiple City Departments?
City Departments are available to meet with special event planners by appointment. Multi-department meetings can be scheduled by contacting the Recreation & Special Events Coordinator at 413-499-9371.