The Special Events Office is responsible for providing event permits and will assist with scheduling and approval by other City departments to ensure a safe and smooth event process.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau Resort Management Special Event and Film Office manages the permit process for outdoor activity on public and private property.

Outdoor events on public property, including cultural, entertainment, festivals, parades or other types of unique activity, whether held for profit, nonprofit or charitable purposes, require an outdoor event permit.

A permit is required for private property when the outdoor activities are beyond the scope of normal use as determined by the zoning administrator.

All outdoor event permit applications for events scheduled to occur on or after August 1, 2024, will be required to use the City of Virginia Beach Outdoor Event Permit Application System.

Key features of the online permit system include

  • Streamlined review process: Automates the permit review and approval process for applicants, reviewers and approvers, ensuring timely and consistent responses to permit applications.

  • Real-time updates: Organizers receive real-time updates on the status of their permit application, increasing efficiencies with the resolution of missing or incomplete information.

  • Event planning playbook: The completed permit application will serve as a planning template for event organizers to host a successful and safe event.

  • Year-over-year efficiencies: Planners of annual events are able to duplicate past applications, eliminating the need to re-enter information that carries over each year.

Applying for an Outdoor Event Permit is a Two-Step Process:

  • Step 1 - Submit a request for outdoor use of public or private property. 
  • Step 2 - Submit final, complete outdoor event permit application.

The request for outdoor use provides a general overview of the proposed event. For use of public property requests, review of availability and response timeline will vary depending on the location.

  • Resort area and Town Center area:
    • Requests are accepted through June 30, 2024, for the 2025 calendar year.
    • Requests are accepted through August 30, 2024, for the 2026 calendar year. 
  • Requests for all other public property are accepted up to one year prior to the event date.

For use of private property requests, a review of the property use and proposed activities may require pre-approval from the Department of Planning.

  • Private property requests are accepted up to one year, but no later than 90 days prior to the event date.

Approved requests are marked "Tentatively Confirmed" and will be able to continue with the outdoor event permit application process. 

The outdoor event permit application allows the applicant to expand on the information provided in the request, providing relevant information, details and plans. Submitting an application does not guarantee issuance of a permit.

Completed applications must be submitted 60 days prior to the event date, or first date of load-in, if load-in exceeds five days.