Quick Answer

Do I need a permit to throw a party?

Times when you DON’T need an event permit

If you are having a party on you own property (whether it’s inside or outside, whether you rent or own) you don’t need a permit to play amplified music or serve alcohol.

Times when you WILL need an event permit

There are times when you will need a special permit to hold an event. Conditions that require a special event permit include:

  • an event that is open to the public with 50 or more people will be in attendance
  • events that require street closures (e.g. a block party)
  • a party where people will be drinking alcohol outside of private property
  • a party with amplified sound that can be heard beyond your own property

How to get the permits you need

If you think your party meets the qualifications above then you will need at least one permit from the City, maybe more. Almost all events require a permit from the Special Activities unit of the City Administrator’s Office. In most (not all) cases, you are going to need to prove that you have liability insurance for your proposed event. You can apply for a permit by contacting either of the following staff people:

  • Nancy Marcus - 510-238-3294 - nmarcus@oaklandnet.com
  • Jasmine Chan - 510-238-6914 - jchan@oaklandnet.com

If your party is going to require a street closure then you must you must file an application with the Special Event Unit of the Oakland Police Department. Be sure to file the application with OPD at least 30 days prior to your event.

To hold a party in a public space (e.g. a City park) you will need to request a reservation with the Office of Parks and Recreation by phone at 510-238-3187 or by email at oprscheduling@oaklandnet.com.