Special Events on Nantucket

ALERT: Special Events

The Town of Nantucket  is continually taking steps to safeguard the community. Event organizers should exercise an elevated level of caution when planning special events, and applications should be submitted with the understanding that such events may be canceled or rescheduled to a future date, as determined by the Town in its sole discretion. 

Gatherings Limit: Effective March 22nd, subject to public health data, the gatherings limit will increase for event venues and public settings, but will stay the same in private settings:

  • Event Venues and Public Settings:
    • 100 indoors
    • 150 outdoors
  • Private settings (such as private residences):
    • 10 indoors
    • 25 outdoors

Face Coverings: On Friday, April 30, 2021 the Board of Health updated Emergency Order No. 13. The mask order only applies to indoors or outdoors when physical distance in not possible. 

COVID Safe Practices Concern Form: Please submit the form if you would like to report possible concerns about non-compliance with the Commonwealth's travel advisory quarantine, face covering, gathering, or other public health rules. 

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Effective March 22, 2021, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to follow the Commonwealth's new travel advisory.

Looking to host a special event on Nantucket? We are delighted that you are interested in building community, supporting local businesses, attracting visitors and energizing our island. 

The Town of Nantucket defines a “Special Event” as any event that is:

  • Held on public property
  • Held on private property but the event is open to the public (free or ticketed)
  • An event that serves alcohol either within the price of admission or as an advertised amenity to guests, regardless of location.
  • Any event up to 250 participants that is hosted by an individual, group, and or organization that will impact access to public property, impact business activity, and or potentially impact the safety of residents and visitors.
  • Any event over 250 people on Public Property requires a separate Public Assembly application. Please fill out a special event application and contact the Town’s Events Coordinator, Marina Dzvonik, promptly if you are planning an event requiring a Public Assembly permit.
Island Events Tent

Examples of events that would need to be permitted include but are not limited to:

  • Road races or sport events
  • Concerts (Inside or outside of a building without a permanent entertainment license)
  • Celebrations, catered beach dinners, receptions, beach weddings
  • Fundraising events
  • Retail Store Receptions
  • Art Opening / Gallery Receptions
  • Ticketed dinner parties or cocktail receptions

Special Event Permits Issued by the Town of Nantucket:

Each permit has a specific fee associated with it. All applicants will be charged a $25 application fee plus the applicable permit fee(s). Please review the Town of Nantucket fee schedule for details.

Only businesses with non-profit status may apply for and receive an “All Alcohol” Temporary Pouring Permit.

NOTE: The Nantucket Community School schedules and permits ATHLETIC / SPORTS activities at the Delta Fields, Nobadeer Farm Fields, Tom Nevers Fields, Winter Park (Essex) and the Jetties Beach Tennis Courts (508) 325-5334. If you would like to schedule a camp, league, clinic or athletic event at one of these locations please refer to COMMUNITY RECREATION for additional information or contact Blair Jannelle with any questions (508) 228-7285 x1576.


The Town of Nantucket assumes no liability if an event is not approved — Selling tickets, advertising, gaining sponsorship and other activities done prior to event approval is done at the risk of the event organizer.

Events on Private Property

If you are planning an event on private property, you may still need to apply for a special event permit, pouring permit, or an entertainment license. If you have any questions about the complexity of hosting a public event on private property please contact Marina Dzvonik, Town's Events Coordinator.

Special permits are needed as follows:

  • When alcohol is included in the price of admission to an event if venue does not have its own permanent liquor license.
  • When an event is advertised as open to the public and provides alcohol, food, or entertainment.
  • When an event is held on private property, such as a hotel or an event venue that does not have its own permanent liquor license.
Event With Beautiful Place Settings at Tables and Artwork Displayed