Site Rentals for Private Events
Permit applications are currently being accepted for events in 2021-2022, subject to local, state and federal guidelines in response to COVID-19.
The Trust for Governors Island offers several sites for private events.
Sample Programs that would require a Private Events Permit:
Benefits and fundraisers
Staff outings and field days
Conferences, meetings, and seminars
Graduations and alumni gatherings
In order to maintain our historic buildings and green spaces, a site fee will be applied to all private event rentals. Please note that a special rate for nonprofit organizations is available. Site fees will be estimated based on the information in your application. Additional dedicated services fees may apply.
Private events can be held during regular public hours, after hours, and off-season. Please note that events which take place after hours or off-season will involve additional expenses.
An accepted proposal does not guarantee that you will be able to host your event on Governors Island. Events are not confirmed until a signed agreement has been received and approved by both parties.
Indoor space for private events is very limited on Governors Island. We encourage you to include outdoor alternatives for any indoor space requests in your private event application.
Looking for a customized Governors Island experience for your next corporate outing? Visit our corporate opportunities page.
For us to better understand your event, site needs and setup, we ask that you submit the below information:
- Applicant contact info:
- First/last name
- Event description (2-3 sentences)
- Proposed dates & timing (if flexible, please note)
- Would the program take place during public hours or after hours?
- How long would you need the site to accommodate load-in, rain dates (if any), and breakdown/load-out?
- How many people do you expect to attend?
- Preference in outdoor or indoor spaces:
- What are your site needs (indoor/outdoor space, approximate size, infrastructure requirements, etc.)?
- Do you have any locations on the Island already in mind?
Have more questions before applying? Read through these FAQs, or check out our Rules and Regulations.
- Selection criteria include:
- Fit or alignment with our vision to infuse the Island with dynamic arts and cultural programming, as well as educational opportunities in the arts, sciences and nature
- Applicant’s track-record of producing and organizing other exceptional programs or events
- Emphasis on public participation across diverse audiences
- Engagement with the Island as a site, including its histories, local ecologies, architecture and relationship to New York City
- Feasibility of the program based on the Island’s operational capacities and infrastructure.
Events that are ticketed, charge admission or take place after or before public hours are subject to site fees, to be determined during the proposal review process. Events that are free and open to the public are eligible to have site fees waived.
Please note that events may require additional services such as dedicated ferries, security, custodial services, grounds crew consultation and emergency medical services. In these cases, the organization producing the event will be responsible for these costs.
Event dates can be placed on hold after the Trust has received and reviewed your proposal and statement of intent. Programs are not confirmed, and dates cannot be placed on hold until a signed agreement has been received and approved by both parties.
Governors Island has tents of varying sizes available for events to rent for a fee at the responsibility of the organizer, and more information on tent specifications can be provided upon request. Governors Island does not own or rent stages, generators or A/V equipment. A list of recommended vendors is available upon request.
Currently there is not high-speed internet available on Governors Island. Programs requiring Wi-Fi should plan to use a hotspot or mobile Wi-Fi device.
Electricity varies throughout the Island and is not available on many event sites. Most outdoor events must bring in their own portable generators to meet their electricity needs. Some areas of Governors Island currently have potable water. Please include your needs for water in your proposal. Potable water is not available at most private/ticketed event sites.
Events or programs anticipating 4,000 or more attendees are required to provide additional ferry service, at their expense, to supplement Governors Island's regularly scheduled ferries. The Trust will work with event producers to create a ferry schedule that works within the Island's existing operation and make recommendations for ferry operators and capacities.
The Trust will work with event producers to advise them on a comprehensive Operational Plan including (but not limited to): a site plan, run of show, ferry transportation schedule and security/staffing plans to best work within the Island’s daily operations.
Nonprofit organizations can solicit donations, but only within the designated space reserved for your event.
For outdoor festivals and events, outside food vendors are permitted and subject to standard New York City DOHMH policies. Sales of any type should be noted in event/program proposals for review by the Trust. If you’re interested in selling art at your program or event, please get in touch with us directly at email@example.com.
Program and event organizers are responsible for securing a permit from the New York State Liquor Authority to serve alcohol at their event or program. The Trust must receive a copy of the liquor permit and approve all logistical plans for the area where alcohol will be served.
Please note that visitors are not permitted to bring their own alcohol to Governors Island and that alcohol is only permitted in areas designated by the Trust and only served to those over 21 years of age.
Yes, please feel free to indicate a preferred site in your proposal. We can also give site recommendations based on the scope and nature of the event, as well as site availability.
Can events or programs be held when the Island is closed to the public, either after hours or during the off-season?
Private and ticketed public events can be held on the Island after or before public hours, as well as during the off-season with special permission from the Trust. Please note that events that do not take place during normal public hours may involve additional costs associated with dedicated Island services, such as extended ferry service or security.
A reservation is required to use the grills and sports fields on Governors Island. Reservations will open in early 2018. To learn more and make a reservation, please visit our permits page.
· If you wish to have space on the Island reserved for your small private gathering, please submit a private event rental inquiry here and the Trust will be in touch to provide more information on the spaces available and rental rates.
· Informal gatherings such as picnics, birthday parties and other small celebrations that do not require a reserved private space do not require a permit. Picnic tables on Governors Island are first come, first served.
Program and event organizers must pre-register vehicles for ferry access at least 48 hours in advance. There is limited capacity for vehicle access to Governors Island and any vehicles must be transporting materials necessary to the events’ productions. Personal vehicles are not permitted for any reason.
The Trust for Governors Island is not responsible for any events that take place at the National Park Service Monuments, if you would like more information about hosting an event at Fort Jay or Castle Williams, please contact the National Park Service at www.nps.gov/gois or call (212)825-3045.
Permits are not required for small, informal gatherings that do not require reserved or private space, such as family reunions, picnics, or meet ups that take place when the Island is open to the public. Your group is welcome to come out to the Island during these days, pick a spot and enjoy all that the Island has to offer.