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August 15, 2022American Tent Life



The awesome subject of today’s Tent Talk with Pete McVey, the Tent Guru, one that everyone loves and is not at all a stick in the mud or thorn in our side, is tent permits — a necessary evil!

We are providing the general public with very large tents that can hold very large amounts of people. The possibility of disaster or for anything to go wrong gets bigger as the crowd gets bigger. 

If your jurisdiction requires permits, you must get them! There are places that have zero permitting required and others where it's just a money grab for $10 or $25. You file the paperwork with the fire department and they give you a permit. Some places actually require engineered drawings, soil samples, and all kinds of other requirements that can get into the thousands of dollars because they take so man-hours to generate. 

Again, it's a necessary evil! You can't fight it, so get good at permits and permit applications and make sure you do it whenever it's required. When you start skimping on or trying to cheat on the permit process, it's going to come back to haunt you! 

Fire inspectors and building inspectors have total jurisdiction over this industry, and where and what we can set up. The better relationship you have with them, the easier your life is going to be. An inspector has the ability to shut down events or not even allow events to open. Keep in mind, however, that these inspectors are looking out for the safety of the crowd; they are looking for possible things that could go wrong and they want to remedy them before we bring the crowds in under these tents. 

Work with your fire and building inspectors, learn the permitting process, know the codes, and communicate with them!

If you have more questions on permitting, contact American Tent today!

Tony Ehrbar's headshot

Tony Ehrbar

Owner & CEO

Tony's entrepreneurial spirit is woven into the fabric of American Tent (an Inc 5000 company), shaped by his experience running a successful event venue & tent rental service. His recognition as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019 is a testament to his impact & dedication to his community. As the Co-founder and CEO of Renegade Plastics, Tony is leading initiatives in the tent industry to integrate eco-friendly, recyclable materials. Contributing as a board member for the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) & the Green Bay Area Public Schools Foundation and being featured by Entrepreneur, Oracle, & Modern Weddings, Tony plays a pivotal role in enhancing the growth and success of the textile industry.

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