FAQ General

A Special Outdoor Event can include but is not limited to art displays, building dedications, community events, conferences, cultural events, demonstrations, dining, entertainment, festival/fair, fundraiser, informational, memorial/vigil, musical performances, overnight events, parade procession, pep rally, recruitment, sign placement, social, speaker, tabling, tailgates, walk/run, etc.

a. U-M units and departments (a department/unit can sponsor an event for the benefit of the University)
b. Faculty/Staff/Alumni for university business
c. Recognized Student Organizations (RSO)
d. Sponsored Student Organizations (SSO)
e. Voluntary Student Organizations (VSO)
f. Other organizations officially recognized by the University; such as the Alumni Association, the University Musical Society and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival
g. Commercial use of University property is discouraged
h. Scheduled use is subject to approval under the auspices of the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations (AVPFO)

Although there is generally no fee associated with an outdoor event space, each event is subject to other costs based on the event items included and/or any damage of the property post event.

Outdoor Events can be held any day of the year, including major holidays, with one exception: UofM students are not allowed to participate in any aspect of an event that is scheduled on an official Exam or Study Day.

A food truck may be permitted for an outdoor activity if the following criteria are satisfied:

  • · All food must be pre-paid by the department or organization prior to the activity.
  • · The food truck must be on the current list of Approved Food Truck Vendors.
  • · The food truck must pass an on-site inspection from Environment, Health & Safety’s Food Safety team on the day of your activity.
  • · The food truck must be in support of the main activity.
  • · You must submit your request form at least 15 business days prior to your activity date to allow adequate time for the review process.
    Visit our Food Truck Guidance page for complete details on requirements and how to submit your request.

Space must be reserved at least ten business days in advance of the event. It takes time to coordinate use of the space. The more time you allow, the better. For simple requests, approval may be possible in only a few days. However, at certain times of the year, volume is such that we are not able to process requests immediately. All large scale or multiple day events require more time in the events request review process (estimated two months in advance). Every effort must be made to provide all event parties with enough lead time to properly prepare for each event.

All event items will require a vendor for outdoor services/rentals. Staff/student refer to UM’s preferred vendors

Amplified sound is defined as the use of any loudspeaker, sound amplifier (including bluetooth speakers), public address system (e.g., microphone), or similar device to amplify spoken words or music.

Amplified Sound is allowed every day from 12pm to 1pm with no permit required. Additionally, you can request a permit to use amplified sound during the following times:

  • · Monday - Friday from 5pm to 11pm
  • · Saturday and Sunday 7am to 11pm

*Exceptions to the above may be made for student-related activities during official Welcome Week Days
*Amplified sound is not permitted at any time on Study Days or Exam Days.

Please do not submit a new request. Call or email us and we will update the change for you (e.g., new date/time change, different location, adding or removing something from your event, etc.)

Our office reserves outdoor event space on a first-come, first-serve basis with up to 12 months in advance, which means we only hold the requested outdoor space for an event once the request form and layout have been submitted to [email protected].

Yes – The event name is what will appear on not only your email confirmation subject line, but will be how the event is shown on our events schedule and how we would view the event, so please make sure it is something specific to match the event.


Yes. All Outdoor Events/rentals on University property require insurance:

  • · For university events, the university's coverage is in place for any activity sponsored by a university department.
  • · For non-sponsored activities utilizing university space, insurance is required. Insurance can be purchased independently or coverage may be available through the Tenants and Users Liability Insurance Policy (TULIP) sponsored by the University Risk Management Insurance Association (URMIA).
  • · URMIA designed this coverage to provide low-cost general liability insurance to users of university facilities. It protects both the Facility User (renter) and the university against claims by others who may be injured or have property damage as a result of participating in an event. Events may range from very low risk events such as classroom seminars, receptions or weddings to higher risk events including camps, sports events or rock concerts.
  • · TULIP is a web-based program. Costs are based upon the risk of the activity, the number of days of the activity, the number of participants, and if there are any special requirements, including alcohol liability, participant coverage, etc.
  • For further questions about TULIP and special event insurance, please refer to call Risk Management Services at (734) 764-2200 or send an email to [email protected].
  • Additional insurance is required for, but not limited to the following events:
      Hot air balloon
    • Inflatable play structures
    • Tents of any size (rented from outdoor vendors)
    • Animals of any kind
    • Rock walls
    • High-risk activities as determined by Risk Management

Alcohol is not permitted at outdoor events. Please see General Counsel FAQ on alcohol management to assist you for alcohol related questions for events inside of facilities. http://ogc.umich.edu/frequently-asked-questions/alcohol/

Yes – Detailed site plans are required for your application submission. While site plans are not required to be professionally drawn, they must be legible, close to scale and prove sufficient detail to paint a picture of what your event will look like must be submitted along with your completed Outdoor Event Form. Plans MUST indicate all activities that will be set up on site. The event site play will need to provide locations for tents, tables, chairs, porta-potties, food and beverage, stage, and other key areas as they relate to your event.

While we do try to accommodate requests as much as possible, it is sometimes necessary to offer the applicant different times, locations, or dates for events, due to the volume of request, guidelines, policies, and/or scheduling conflicts.

No, an area will not be cordoned off for your use only. The event permit only gives you and your group permission to use the area on your designated day. We cannot interrupt the pedestrian flow unless declared otherwise by the Outdoor Events Review Committee's Risk Management and DPSS personnel.

Your event request is not approved until you have received the AVPFO Outdoor Events Permit (pdf) and/or the status of your request states approved. You may receive verbal and email approvals, but that is only an approval from an individual on the Outdoor Events Committee for a piece of the event. Until you receive a confirmation email from the AVPFO Alcohol, Events & Filming Office, and the request status states approved, your event has NOT been approved. Outdoor Event Requests can take between 2-3 business days for confirmation of received & at least 10 days for the approval process based on the event details.

Yes. You may want to have an alternate date for inclement weather. However, you should have an event-specific Emergency Action Plan (EAP). You are required to have one for an event over 500 attendees.

University of Michigan is committed to providing an accessible and welcoming working and learning environment for faculty, staff, students and guests, while complying with federal, state and local disability regulations. If you would like more information or assistance with making your event accessible, or if you have any questions about providing services, please contact the staff of Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. https://ssd.umich.edu/

If any details of your event are changed after you have already submitted the form or your request has been approved, please email [email protected] and/or contact the office at 734-615-9075 with all updated event information.

Central Campus/South Campus: Most of central and south campus roads/sidewalks are owned by the City of Ann Arbor. It is the responsibility of the event organizer to complete the City’s road closure form and include the copy of the City form when submitting the Outdoor Event Request form to the AVPFO Outdoor Events Committee for their knowledge and support. http://www.a2gov.org/services/Pages/SpecialEventscommunityservice.aspx

North Campus: All of north campus roads are owned by UM. It is the responsibility of the event organizer to provide a detailed map to the Outdoor Events Committee for any event using the roads or sidewalks when submitting the Outdoor Event Request form to the AVPFO Outdoor Events Committee.

The Outdoor Events Committee may assign an Outdoor Events Monitor to be onsite at your event during setup/takedown and on event day(s). The role of the event representative is to assist and ensure that all of the event approval conditions are followed that the Outdoor Events Committee set out thoroughly during the planning and approved event times of your event.

We understand all outdoor spaces start empty. Every event has to bring in all of the materials, staging, sound system, tent, etc. via delivery of some kind. However, onsite load in or out are extremely limited and for all most all sites the closest you can unload is the street and carted in items.

It is highly recommend that your vendors determine load in and out/parking before the day of set up. Here are some possible references for planning:
i. The City of Ann Arbor parking meters can be bagged at: http://rpsa2.com/Meters-bag-page
ii. City of Ann Arbor parking maps: http://www.a2dda.org/transportation/
iii. For Department events, you can purchased special event parking passes at: https://pts.umich.edu/parking/dpt-events.php
iv. If your vendor is not parked in a proper parking site (aka meter, loading dock, or parking spot) the vehicle will be ticketed.

The Outdoor Event Review Committee is comprised of staff from the Office of the Associate Vice President for Facilities and Operations (AVPFO), Risk Management, Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), Maintenance, Logistics Transportation and Parking (LTP), and Department of Public Safety and Security (DPSS). The OERC will review the details of each event, and offer their comments during the event review and approval process.