Me Fest: Yes, there are a lot of festivals, but where's yours? | Summer Events Guide | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Me Fest: Yes, there are a lot of festivals, but where's yours?

Learn how easy it is to throw your own festival.



It's well known that Bend is the self-proclaimed mountain biking and craft brewing capital of Oregon. What's less well known is our claim to the title of festival capital of Oregon. Okay, so no one has officially designated us as the festival capital of the Cascades. But someone could. It seems we've got a festival for every season, as well as a beer festival, a wine festival, a balloon festival, a paddlefest, a film festival, a bike festival. And a year-end festival to celebrate all the festivals, okay so I made the last one up, but you get the picture.

While there's plenty of reason to get excited about Bend's festival scene, including great food and music, did you ever wonder if you could do it better if you had the chance? Turns out, there's not much to stop you from trying, at least on a small scale. The city makes the process of getting a festival permit relatively easy and affordable.

Here's a quick Cheat Sheet for you to follow when organizing your own festival.

Who Needs a Permit?

Anyone hosting a gathering that is open to the public. Smaller events require a revocable permit. Larger gatherings are required to obtain an assembly permit.

How Much Does it Cost?

Assembly Permits are $124.

What about Booze?

If you want to sell beer at your event, you'll need a beer garden permit ($250). The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has a separate permit process with a $50 review fee. You can download the paperwork at the OLCC website,

Permit Process?

According to the City of Bend, you should allow the City at least 60 days to process permits for larger gatherings. Smaller events can typically be processed in 30 days.

What Does the Permit Get Me?

Besides the basic permission to hold your own festival, a permit allows you to request street closures and the use of amplified sound.

Now that you've got a working knowledge of the process, go to the City of Bend's website and review the handy FAQ sheet. Once you get the details of your personal festival ironed out, it's time to contact the Bend PD's community liaison, Steve Esselstyn and get the ball rolling. You can reach him at 541-322-2976.

Let there be rock!

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