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Outdoor Events

Outdoor spaces may be reserved by Registered Student Organizations and University Departments for Signature Events.  Requests for space must be made at least 3 weeks in advance but may requested up to one year in advance.

All outdoor events are required to register in Anchorlink and may be required to attend the Special Event Registration meeting.

Questions to consider when planning your outdoor event

Are you planning to serve food and beverages at your event?

  • All Food vendors must be approved two weeks prior to the event
  • Food trucks are not allowed to sell on campus unless their role is as a caterer. The food trucks would need to park on public streets (designated areas) unless the student organization has purchased the food and the truck is supplying the food free of charge to attendees.  
  • All vendors must complete the Limited Premises Use and Access License and provide a copy of the General Liability Insurance coverage before the event can be approved.
  • Our Preferred Vendors List

Would you like to serve alcohol at your event?

  • All events at which alcoholic beverages will be consumed must be appropriately registered two weeks in advance.
  • All organizations seeking to register events with alcohol are required to have officers complete Host Responsibility Training through the Center for Student Wellbeing.
  • If alcohol is authorized, you will need to fence the area, allowing for only one point of entry.
  • Security will be required at all events where alcohol is served.

What setup needs will your event require?

  • Plant operations requests include items such as tables, chairs, trash cans, recycling bins, grounds keeping, staging, tents, etc.  You will work with your Reservations & Events event manager to finalize your needs for the event.
  • Depending on the scope of your event, you may be required to have grounds keeping service the lawns at the conclusion of your event.  
  • Rentals/Inflatables may be utilized at your event pending approval.  
  • All vendors must complete the Limited Premises Use and Access License and provide a copy of the General Liability Insurance coverage before the event can be approved.
  • Additional setup needs will be billed directly to your Vanderbilt account.

Will you need security or a VUPD officer?

  • Security is required for events at which alcohol is present, for large events, and for events open to the general public. Consult your event manager and VUPD (615-322-2745) to determine your specific needs, or inquire at the weekly Special Event Registration Committee meeting. Depending on the nature of the event, you may be allowed to hire private, third-party security, as opposed to uniformed VUPD officers. Both VUPD and private security can be arranged through VUPD.
  • Request VUPD Security for your event through this form.

Having an event under a tent?

  • You may need a fire watch if you will have more than 300 attendees. Fill out the Fire Watch Personnel form and we can determine your event’s specific needs.

Are you wanting to have a fire pit at your event? 

  • Fire pits may be utilized at your event pending approval.
  • The Fire Pit Regulation form must be completed.
  • Work with your event manager to obtain a water source and fire extinguisher.  Additional charges will be incurred and billed directly to your Vanderbilt account.

Do you plan to have amplified sound at your event?  

  • Functions or special events which require electronic sound amplification must be registered with the Special Events Registration Committee and approved by the Dean of Students or the dean’s designee. Electronic amplification may not be used in the vicinity of classroom buildings, the library, the hospital, or apartments for family housing. Use of outside amplification at any event or function held in close proximity to campus residences must involve consultation with the Office of Housing and Residential Education.
  • Work with your event manager to reserve a sound system for an additional fee.

Would you like to sell merchandise at the event?

  • Student organizations may engage in the occasional sale of items for fundraising when the funds are for the use of the organization in its regular activities (including philanthropic efforts) and are deposited into the organization’s University account. Organizations undertaking such sales must comply with University policies regarding the ordering of merchandise, sales tax collection and payment, and licensing.

Is the event open to the public?

  • Authorization must be obtained through the Special Event Registration process to hold a social event or other meeting to which persons other than Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff will be invited.

Will there be minors present?

  • All non-Vanderbilt University minors are required to have a signed permission slip. Any off-campus minor attendees without parental supervision will require you to coordinate with the Office of Risk and Insurance Management.  All minors must have the appropriate paperwork to be on campus. Contact Dawn Riddle (Director, Protection of Minors) at protectionofminors@vanderbilt.edu or 615-936-0660.
  • Events that include minors must be registered in Anchor Link at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the event to ensure that compliance obligations, if any, associated with the protection of minors policy are met.

Will you require Parking Services support?

  • Specific arrangements need to be made in advance directly with traffic and parking for any special deliveries or parking for catering trucks, Red Cross blood drives, etc. Some of the services available are special parking permits for events, barricades, signs for lots, and Traffic and Parking officers.
  • Parking Services form

Will you be showing a film?

  • Films, videos, or DVDs may not be shown to dorm audiences, clubs, fraternities, sororities, or other organizations, without first obtaining a public performance license. Registered student organizations may order films to show on campus. The motion picture titles shown on the Vanderbilt campus are cleared by the distributors for public performance exhibition. This means that Vanderbilt has the legal right to show titles before groups of students, faculty, and their friends on campus. The “home use” versions of these same titles, obtained from video stores, etc., are not cleared by the distributors for public performance use by the University, because proper licensing fees to the copyright owners have not been paid for such use.
  • https://www.vanderbilt.edu/studentorgs/wp-content/uploads/sites/127/Public-Performance-Rights.pdf
  • Additional setup needs will be billed directly to your Vanderbilt account.

Will your event be ticketed?

Do you have a rain plan?

  • We recommend you have a plan in place for alternate dates due to inclement weather.

Are you planning a demonstration?

  • To learn more about demonstrations on campus please use this link.