San Francisco Announces New Process for Outdoor Entertainment Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo credit: Peter Okwara via Unsplash

San Francisco will soon see outdoor concerts and live entertainment as the city eases restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Entertainment Commission’s “Just Add Music” permit for shared spaces, outdoor dining, small gatherings, outdoor fitness classes, farmer’s markets, and other activities will allow businesses to perform entertainment safely.

“This program will provide some much-needed relief for businesses that are looking for ways to safely offer outdoor entertainment and music and survive the economic challenges of COVID19,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “San Francisco is a world-class entertainment city and we are fortunate to have a diverse entertainment and nightlife culture — we can’t let COVID take that away from us.”

To hold outdoor entertainment or amplified sound you must follow city health guidelines and provide documents based on your location and type of activity.

Examples of outdoor activities that need this permit:

  • Live music like a band or DJ
  • Theater, comedy or dance performance
  • Fashion show
  • Amplified speech
  • Amplified sound without a performer, like pre-recorded music or sound on a patio
  • Film/TV screening with amplified sound

This permit is not needed if you already have approval to host outdoor entertainment at a permitted Place of Entertainment (POE) or Limited Live Performance (LLP) location. The permit is not for street performers or buskers.

According to the city’s website, do the following if your business wants a permit:

1. Get the permit or approval to use the outdoor property

2. Check our rules

3. Gather your documents

4. Apply to provide entertainment or amplified sound in an outdoor space

5. Wait for our email

6. Get your permit

Live music will be allowed however performers won’t be able to sing, shout or play wind or brass instruments as that type of activity increases the risk of aerosol transmission of COVID-19, under the city’s guidelines. More information can be found at


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