Site Rentals for Private Events
Host your corporate retreat, wedding or staff outing to Governors Island. The Trust for Governors Island offers several sites that can be closed for private events. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are available.
Sample Events that would require a Private Events Permit:
Weddings or other private celebrations
Company retreats, staff outings, and office field days
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.
Since applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis, we encourage you to submit as early as possible. All private event applications must be submitted at least 60 days before the event would take place. Our typical response time is 2-3 weeks.
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 by The Trust during the proposal review process.
· Programs and events that are free and open to the public are eligible to have site fees waived.
· Programs/events may require additional services such as dedicated security, ferry, custodial and emergency medical services. In these cases, the organization producing the event/program will be responsible for these costs.
Our typical response time is 2-3 weeks. If you need to get in touch with us, you can reach out to the Programming team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 programs to rent, and more information on tent specs can be provided upon request. Governors Island does not own a stage, generators or AV equipment; if your event/program requires such equipment, please indicate this in your proposal.
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. If your program requires electricity please inform the Trust as it may be necessary to hire an electrician to make these connections, or provide generators, at the cost of the applicant. 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 create a comprehensive Operational Plan including (but not limited to): a site plan, run of show, ferry transportation schedule, security/staffing plans to best work within the Island's daily operations.
Nonprofit organizations can solicit donations, but only in the designated space reserved for your event or program.
The Trust discourages the sale of commercial products. The sale of educational materials, such as books or printed materials related to the proposed program are permitted upon review. 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.
Visitors are not permitted to bring their own alcohol to Governors Island; however, alcohol can be served and consumed at authorized events on the Island. Alcohol is only permitted in areas designated by the Trust and only served to those over 21 years of age. Program and event organizers are responsible for securing a permit from the New York State Liquor Authority to serve alcohol. The Trust must receive a copy of the liquor permit and approve all logistical plans for the area where alcohol will be served.
· While you can request a specific area on the Island as part of your proposal, please note that organizations proposing programs for indoor areas will not have the opportunity to select a specific location. For accepted proposals, the Trust will find an appropriate site based on the proposed program and production setup.
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.
The Island is open May 1-October 31, rain or shine. We do understand that the
success of many outdoor events relies on the weather. Organizers of outdoor
events are responsible for having rain plans and reserving alternate dates in
case of inclement weather. If you need to postpone your event for any reason, the
Trust requires notification in writing by 8am day of.
There is limited capacity for vehicle access to Governors Island. Program and event organizers can pre-register vehicles for ferry access via the Governors Island ferry, the Coursen, which departs from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan. Vehicles must be registered with the Trust at least 24 hours in advance. These 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.