Bands and choirs travel from around the country to perform at the iconic national monuments and memorials on the National Mall and Memorial Parks. A permit is required for having these performances in the park.
Applying for a Permit
Submit an Application for a Permit to Conduct a Demonstration or Special Event in Park Areas (Special Event Permit Application) to the Division of Permits Management in person or mail:
National Mall and Memorial Parks
Applications can be delivered Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, except federal holidays or other National Mall and Memorial Parks office closures. Special Event Permit Applications are not accepted via fax or email. Applications are accepted up to one year in advance inclusive of the first day of setup.
Application Processing Cost
A non-refundable application processing cost of $120 is required with the submission of the Special Event Permit Application. Follow the instructions on the application form for submitting a payment by credit card, check, or money order. Credit Card Form (not accepted via email).
A permits specialist will contact you if additional meetings, discussions, or documents are required and continue to walk you through the permit process. A permit must be issued prior to holding the activity in the park.
Things to Know Before Applying
A permits specialist will guide applicants through the permitting process and can also be contacted before applying to answer any questions. Please also review the Permits Resources related to your proposed activity.
Location and Location-Specific Requirements
Most band and choral performances take place at these locations. Contact the Permits Management Office to discuss any additional potential areas.
Performances are permitted on the Reflecting Pool steps near the Lincoln Memorial. Power is available upon request with advanced notice. Buses can drop off participants and equipment on Daniel French Drive. Public restrooms are available in the memorial. No organized activities are allowed within the chamber of the Lincoln Memorial.
Sylvan Theater (Washington Monument grounds)
Performances are permitted at Sylvan Theater, an outdoor amphitheater with power, outdoor lighting, and dressing rooms. Buses can drop off participants and equipment on a pull off on Independence Avenue. Public restrooms are available near the theater. Sylvan Theater is generally not available from June 25-July 6 due to Independence Day festivities.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
Performances are permitted on the Memorial Plaza of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Power is available upon request with advanced notice. Buses can drop off participants and equipment on East Basin Drive. No organized activities are allowed with the chamber of the Lincoln Memorial. Public restrooms are available in the memorial. No organized activities are allowed within the chamber of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
World War II Memorial
Performances are permitted on the ceremonial entrance plaza of the World War II Memorial between 10 am to 12 pm (noon) and 5 pm to 7 pm. Limited setup equipment is allowed, including chairs, choir risers, music stands, and tables. Sound must be directed toward the Washington Monument. No electricity is available at this location. Buses can drop off participants and equipment on Home Front Drive off of Independence Avenue.
Additional Required Documents and Steps
Depending on the size and scope of the event, the permits specialist may require additional meetings and more in-depth event plans prior to approving the permit, such as site layout, setup/cleanup schedule, equipment lists, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, however it may be limited based on the location chosen, please work directly with your permit specialist.
Buses can load and unload at the following locations:
Lincoln Memorial: Daniel French Drive
Thomas Jefferson Memorial: East Basin Drive
Sylvan Theater: Independence Avenue between 15th-17th Street
World War II Memorial: Homefront Drive
Bus parking is available on a first-come, first use basis on Hains Point by the picnic areas and in West Potomac Park on Ohio Drive.
Last updated: April 6, 2021