Rain, rain, rain plan away. A 10-step guide to renting a tent.

1. Come to Terms with Tenting Your Event

So you’ve booked your gorgeous outdoor venue in Austin (or maybe the Hill Country) and you are right in the middle of the event planning process. That’s great! But what are you going to do if it rains? Does the venue have adequate indoor space? If it doesn’t, you have to plan for rain. There isn’t another option. After all, what is worse? Spending a few extra dollars on reserving a tent or forcing your guests to sit in the rain?

The first thing you have to do when planning an outdoor event is simple: assume that it will rain on your event date. It’s amazing how much easier the planning process becomes when you manage your expectations. If you expect rain, you will not be disappointed on the day of your event. However, if you spend months of planning assuming it won’t rain then you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. Sure, there is a chance it won’t rain, but anyone familiar with Texas weather knows how unpredictable it can be.


When preparing your event budget, make sure account for tenting. There is no easy way to put it: tents can be expensive. Even bare-bones, without accessories, a 200-person tent will cost at least $2,000, including delivery and. Luckily, Premiere Events has a very flexible tent reservation policy. Just ask your Event Consultant for more details.

Because tents are relatively complex, the process can become overwhelming. We have created this booklet to make tenting as easy and painless as possible. Just follow the 10 simple steps presented in this guide and you will be on your way to making great tenting decisions!


2. Determine the Size of Your Tent

One of the most common requests we receive at Premiere Events is “Can I get a tent quote for [X] number of people?” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. You must think about the following criteria when determining the size of your tent:

a. What is Going Under the Tent?

  1. Do you need tables and chairs for all of the guests?
  2. Will you need to stage under the tent for a band (or other entertainment)?
  3. Will you need to fit a dance floor under the tent?
  4. Will the bar and/or food stations need to be under the tent?
  5. What about the cake table, sign-in table, gift table, photo booth, ?

For an additional fee, an Event Consultant can build a CAD (computer-assisted diagram) to help you determine which size tent will best suit your event.


b. Will the Tent Fit in Its Intended Space?

  1. Your Event Consultant will need exact measurements of the space to ensure that the tent will fit where you want it to go.
  2. If you are unsure of the dimensions of the tent space, an Event Consultant can perform a Site Inspection and measure the area for Additional fees apply, so please ask for details).


c. Are There Any Overhead Obstacles?

  1. No hanging structures are allowed to touch the top of the Overhead obstacles include but are not limited to:
    1. Tree branches/limbs
    2. Low-hanging power lines
    3. Other overhead structures

3. Select a Tent Style

a. Festival Tent

  1. Festival Tents feature high, swooping peaks and tensioned fabric that provides a tight, clean Their center poles are suspended on cross cables which allow an absence of poles in the tent center. These tents are great for parties, concerts, school events and corporate activities.
  2. Festival Tents can be 10’, 15’ or 20’ wide and up to 40’ long.


b. Frame Tent

  1. Frame tents are the traditional party tent There are no center poles in frame-style tents, and the frame is sturdy enough to support light-weight accessories.
  2. Frame Tents can be 10’, 15’, 20’, 30’ or 40’ wide and up to 100’
  3. Because of their scalloped perimeter, many customers opt out of using a Frame Tent.


c. Structure Tent

  1. Structure Tents are engineered tents suitable for weddings, celebrations and all The tent top slides through a channel in an extruded aluminum frame, allowing for a tight fit. Structure Tents are much stronger than frame or festival style tents and can handle more weight for hanging accessories like lights, audio/video equipment and décor. They also have a higher wind rating. Structure Tents are Premiere Events’ most popular tent style.
  2. Structure Tents can be 20’, 30’, 40’ or 50’ wide and up to 120’
  3. Structure Tents have two different styles of tops:
    1. Hip End
      1. This design allows for two angled ends on the tent that leads up to the center peak/pole.


2. Gable End

1. This design allows for two vertical ends on the tent. A benefit of the                                        Gable End Structure tents is that they can be butted up against other                                      tents or permanent structures easily.


d.  Clear Span Structure Tent

  1. Clear Span Structure Tents are engineered to withstand greater wind ratings and can be much wider than the typical frame or lighter structure The structure consists of very heavy beams and must be staked at all times. This tent requires a forklift for installation.
  2. Installation of a Clear Span Structure Tent will take much longer than any other tent The eaves of the tent are 13 feet tall and the center point is 26 feet tall.
  3. The sizes of Clear Span Structure Tent are:
    1. 82’ X 82’
    2. 82’ X 98’
    3. 82’ X 115’
    4. 92’ X 131’
    5. 82’ X 147’


e. Tidewater Tent

  1. The Tidewater Tent is a typical pole style tent with a The ends of this tent are round, not square. The tops are made of a translucent sail cloth. The tent poles are powder coated to have a wood style look. This beautiful tent is not recommended when it’s very hot out, as a greenhouse effect will be created under the tent. This tent has center poles and must be staked at all times.
  2. The sizes of Tidewater Tents are:
    1. 44’ X 43’
    2. 44’ X 83’
    3. 44’ X 63’


4. Determine How to Secure the Tent

a. Stakes

  1. Stakes are included in the cost of the tent. Please note that the stakes are 3’ in length.
  2. Using stakes on grass or gravel requires that there are no underground obstacles (sprinkler/irrigation system, septic system, etc.)
  3. Premiere Events is not liable if any underground obstacles are struck by a stake.
  4. Call 1-800-DIG-TESS to determine location of underground obstacles.


b. Barrels

  1. If tent is going on concrete or if stakes are not an option, water barrels may be used to secure the tent.
  2. The number of barrels required for each tent depends on the size of the The larger the tent, the more barrels are needed.
  3. Tent barrels are $5 each and spandex covers for the barrels are an additional $5 each.
  4. A high pressure water source (outdoor faucet and hose) must be on site to fill the barrels.
  5. If no water source is available on site, a water truck may be ordered through a separate vendor.


c. Alternate Options

  1. Venues may have existing anchor bolts that the tent can be tied to
  2. There may be existing railing around the tent site that the tent can be tied to.

5. Choose the Right Top

a. White Top

  1. Almost every tent in Premiere’s inventory comes in a white top.
  2. This is the most commonly rented tent, as it aids in the protection against bright sunlight and heat in the warmer months.
  3. White tops are the more economical tent option.


b. Clear Top

  1. Some, but not all, tents in Premiere’s inventory come with a clear top option.
  2. Clear top tents are most commonly rented in the winter months, as they can have a greenhouse effect in the warmer months.
  3. Clear tops are more costly.


6. Select a Wall Style (When Heating or A/C Are Needed)

a. White Walls – $1 Per Linear Foot


b.  Window Walls – $2 Per Linear Foot


c. Clear Walls – $3 Per Linear Foot


7. Select a Lighting Style

a. Basic Lighting Package

  1. Cost is $0.15 (White Light) or $0.18 (Colored Light) Per Square Foot of Tent
  2. Utilizes Par Can Lights

b. Festoon Lighting

  1. Cost is $75.00 Per 50’ Strand of Lighting
  2. 3 Ways of Installing:
    1. Run Around Inner Perimeter of Tent (Most Economical)
    2. Draped Across Ceiling (Mid-Range)
    3. Run Around Inner Perimeter and Draped Across Ceiling (Most Costly)


8. Add Climate Control (If Necessary)

a.  Heaters

  1. Tent Heaters Cost $275.00 Each and Include propane
  2. One Tent Heater is Needed for Every 1,000 Square Feet of tent.
  3. Open-Flame Patio Heaters are NOT Permitted Under Tents.


b. Fans

  1. Premiere Events Does Not Provide Air Conditioning
  2. Fans will help circulate air in a tent, but they are NOT the same as air conditioning.

9. Add Other Accessories

a. Pole Swag

  1. If you are not fond of the look of the metal poles supporting the tent, you may cover them with draping.
  2. Leg drapes can be provided in any color, but we regularly carry standard white 10ft tall leg drapes in inventory for last minute requests.


b. Ceiling Treatment

  1. If you are not fond of seeing the frame of the tent on the ceiling, you may cover it in one of two ways:
    1. Draping
      1. Ceiling draping adds warmth, elegance and character to the ceiling, and is an affordable way of making a bold statement that your guests can’t help but notice. Premiere’s ceiling draping options include sails, waves, canopies, flowing vertical panels and more.

blog26               2. Tent Liner

1. A tent liner is a soft, billowy, white fabric lining that is installed in the                                    ceiling of your Tent liners bring style and texture to a plain, ordinary tent                              ceiling, and provide your guests the illusion of being in a permanent                                      structure. Tent liners also disguise the tent’s structural components and                                provide a sleek, finished look.


10. Secure a Tent Permit

We know, we know. No one likes to deal with the City of Austin. But the City has mandated that all tents over 400 Square Feet installed within city limits require a permit. Premiere Events does not offer permitting services, but we are happy to provide guidance. The process has become rather simple over the past few years!

The City of Austin requires a three-week lead time for all permit applications, so be sure to apply once you book your tent! The City is notorious for changing policy on a whim so please check their most current permitting guidelines at http://www.austintexas.gov/department/austin-fire-department-special-events.

a. Fee

  1. The City of Austin charges a one-time fee of $188 for each tent permit (if you have multiple tents then each one will need its own permit).
  2. This fee secures the permit as well as an inspection of the tent once it is installed.
  3. Extra fees may apply if the inspection needs to take place outside of business hours or on a weekend.


b. Process

  1. To apply for a permit, simply fill out a Tent Permit Application (which an Event Consultant will be happy to send you).
  2. With that Application, you will also need to send a diagram of the tent showing its placement on the property as well as the table/chair layout under the tent.


Congratulations! You’re All Set!


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