Crowd seated at Frost Concert

Important Notes

Verbal agreements, emails and contracts are legally binding in the State of California.  Student orgs are not authorized to enter into any agreements for performers without prior University approval.  All contracts over $ 500 must be co-signed by SAL and require the funds in your account prior to any agreement.

Lead-time for small, indoor concerts (Row, GCC, Bechtel etc.) is 4 weeks; small outdoor concerts require 6 weeks and large, all campus-events require a 2 quarter lead-time.

Key Policies

event planning

major events


advertising and promotion


Stanford name


off-campus fundraising

Planning Tips

Planning Time

  • Check the SAL Planning Calendar to schedule your event around other major University events.
  • Consult with SAL and other University partners as you begin your planning, especially regarding venues, contractual agreements and noise.  Besides SAL peer advisors, other good resources include Stanford Concert Network and Res Arts.
  • Planning time varies greatly but if large, outdoors or requires more funding than you have in your back account now, plan 2 months to 2 quarters in advance.
  • Groups wishing to sponsor major contemporary music acts should do so in conjunction with the Stanford Concert Network's (SCN) guidance. SCN may also be a good sponsor and consultant for smaller concerts.

Build a Budget

  • Your budget should be based on actual quotes for space, tech, food, lodging, travel etc.  The greatest variable can be technical costs so you will want to obtain artist requirements from the outset (e.g. a rider) and submit an Event Services request right away (if such tech is needed).
  • Negotiate artist fees after you have preliminary University approval. Don't assume that the initial fee quoted is what you need to pay.  Tech requirements can cost as much, or more, than the fee, so consider these expenses at the onset.
  • High profile artists, or those with a large, bay area following, may require additional security and liability insurance. Consult with SAL early if you think your artist may fall in this category.
  • Obtain an actual estimate from Department of Public Safety early if your event will require security.
  • For additional information see sample budget on the SAL website.

Get Funding

  • Exhaust on-campus funding sources prior to off-campus sources.  Remember, off-campus sources requires prior University approval and can take considerable time
  • Funding from  ASSU usually requires that your  event should be free for students.
  • You must have all necessary funds in your account before your event can be approved, you can sign a contract or advertise the event.
  • If soliciting funds from multiple departments, plan on at least 4-6 weeks for transfers.  To expedite the process, give your potential funder the ASSU "holding number" and your individual account number at the time you ask for funds.
  • Have one person keep track of all funding requests, offers, and transfers.

Find a Venue

  • Start with SAL's venue sheets.  Check 25Live for availability for classroom spaces and Tresidder Union.  Remember do not book space directly through 25Live - - instead use OrgSyc.

Contracts and Agreements

  • Student orgs cannot make offers or contractual commitments over $ 500 without SAL approval.​  You can discuss but do not commit until you have funds, space, and approval.  See contract policy.
  • Consult wth SAL peer advisors about early in the planning stages.  Then submit your OrgSync request early.

Order equipment and services

  • Get estimates for your work orders very early on in your early planning.  A summary of possible equipment and services is here.
  • File all necessary work orders as early as possible, at least 3 weeks in advance for small events.  Large events with large, variable costs require 6-8 weeks.
  • Check out this helpful event supplies checklist.
  • All campus auditoria require the use of on-campus technicians & services. Inquire if you are unsure.

Advertise your event

  • Ticketed events must use an approved University vendor.
  • Off-campus advertising and work with the press should be discussed with SAL early in your planning.  Advertising off-campus usually necessitates the hiring of University security too.
  • Post entrance requirements for high profile artists and in all advertising and on ticket.

Host Guests

  • Don't forget to consider travel and lodging, if needed, in your planning.
  • Some artists and performers will require a dressing/green room, which should be arranged at the time you book space.

Security and Safety

  • Security can help with crowd control, traffic and security for high-profile visitors.  Ultimate security levels are determined by the Department of Public Safety and are often required for large, all-campus events or events open to non-Stanford guests.

For Final Approval

  1. A realistic budget with quotes for tech from Events Services and security from Public Safety.
  2. Needed funds in your account.  Remember to apply to ASSU funding very early.
  3. A security and noise plan.
  4. Large and complex events require planning meetings with SAL.  Some will require a formal review by the Student Events Group.  See SAL for details.

On occasion the University may cancel an event after approval because funds proved insufficient, work orders for required tech or security were not done or other compelling circumstances.

Final Event Checklist