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City of Philadelphia

About the Office of Special Events

Consistent with the mission of the Managing Director's Office, the Office of Special Events serves as a catalyst to encourage cooperation and collaboration not only inter-departmentally, but externally through the coordination of the production of films, commercials, parades, festivals, concerts, and many other types of special events.

The Office of Special Events (OSE) exists to ensure that all necessary permits, insurances and agreements are executed prior to any event that seeks the use of City-owned or occupied property, City equipment and/or City services.  OSE processes various types of special event applications, generates departmental service requests, and invoices event organizers for City equipment and/or services rendered in connection with special events.

The responsibilities of the Office of Special Events (OSE) have expanded considerably in recent years.  OSE has streamlined the special event application intake process, and is embracing it's role as a "one-stop shop" for all special events taking place in the City of Philadelphia.  Stakeholders from the public and private sectors now have a single point of contact to guide them through the special event application process.

OSE maintains content for various MDO initiatives on the website and is a member of both the MDO social media working group and the City-wide social media task force.

Through the PhillyRising Collaborative's Citizen's Engagement Academy, OSE holds a monthly "Special Events Academy" which serves to educate community members about the special events process and the positive impacts of festivals and parades on residential neighborhoods and underutilized commercial corridors.

OSE is also positioning itself as a vital contributor to Philadelphia's marketing efforts through the promotion of the City's special events industry.  Through the efforts of the OSE, the City of Philadelphia was named a "2014 and 2015 World Festival & Event City" by the International Festival & Events Association (IFEA).  The winning award submission for 2014 can be viewed here and the 2015 entry can be found here.

Philadelphia's special events industry is growing, and the Office of Special Events will take a leading role in building the City's event capacity by streamlining inter-agency coordination, increasing community and business engagement efforts and leading research into international municipal best-practices.

Film Activity