What size tent do I need? This depends on what you’re doing under the tent: The number of people you expect to be under the tent. Is it Banquet Seating (people sitting at tables) or Auditorium Seating (people sitting in rows of chairs like a theater)? If you’re going to have a Dance Floor, DJ/Band, Buffet Table, Gift Table, etc, you may need the next size tent or maybe even two sizes up! If you’re not sure call our office & we’ll do our best to help. For a fee, we can do a CAD Drawing but see this LINK FOR TABLE SEATING LAYOUTS.
What’s the difference between a Tent or a Canopy? They’re all open air structures & DO NOT come with sidewall (sidewall is available for an additional cost).
- All Purpose AP Tents / Canopies are lightweight tension structures for Do-It-Yourself installation on grass lawns. They’re ideal for shade or light rain, but are not suited for windy weather conditions. They MUST BE staked into grass. They’re held up by center pole(s) & side poles with ropes which extend 6’ out to stakes around the perimeter.
- Pole Tents also have perimeter side poles & center poles. In 30 & 40 wide Pole Tents there is only 1 row of poles going down the center. In 60 wide Pole Tents there are 2 rows of center poles. Pole Tents use ratchet straps that extend to stakes that are 6-8 feet out from each side pole. Pole Tents are generally used for larger events & locations that have plenty of space.
- High Peak, Structure, & Frame Tents are more like a free standing structure, only having perimeter (side poles) & no center poles. They’re often used in limited space areas or in close proximity to buildings or other structures where you’re trying to get the most Tent in the smallest space. They’re great for parking lot sales, street parties, areas where it’s impossible to drill in the surface or where a center pole is unacceptable. Manufacturers always suggest the safest method is staking 5′ to 7′ away from Tent but since they’re supported by framing the stake distance can be adjusted.
How much space do you need for each type of tent? Allow a minimum of 5 feet all around the perimeter of the tent for setup. That means if you order a 20′ x 20′ size, the area you want to have should be about 30′ x 30′. We can work with smaller areas but in order to do so, we need to know in advance to be prepared. Remember our Crews need space to work AROUND the tent & they also need to park our delivery vehicle (the closer they can get to the site – the better)! Don’t forget to trim any tree branches hanging down & check if anything else could possibly interfere with the tent (power lines, awnings, opening doors, etc) ! Trim tree branches & move furniture BEFORE we arrive or you will be charged a wait time fee.
- Pole Tents: It’s best if you have an unobstructed space 20-feet greater than the width & 20-feet greater than the length. For example if you want to rent a 30×60 Pole Tent you should have an unobstructed space of 50×80. But a minimum of 10′ greater than the width & length is required.
- Structure Tents: Must have an unobstructed space 20-feet greater than the width & 20-feet greater than the length. For example if you want to rent a 30×60 Structure Tent you should have an unobstructed space of 50×80. But a minimum of 12′ greater than the width & length is required.
- High Peak & Frame Tents: Need minimal additional space – as little as 5-feet greater than the width and 5-feet greater than the length.
Are sides (walls) included in the price of the tent? Most of our Tents have sidewall available for an additional fee – solid white or windowed. You may rent one side or all sides depending on your need & weather conditions. Sidewall added AFTER a tent has been setup costs twice as much, plus there is an additional Delivery fee IF we are able to add a delivery to our schedule. Sidewall is NOT anchored to the ground & will move with the wind. Most sidewall can be secured to corner legs – anchoring, weighting, or kedar sidewall is extra.
Can the tent be set up on concrete? Tent manufacturers always recommend staking because it’s safest. There are certain applications where staking is impossible or undesirable. We routinely set Tents up on concrete. In some instances we drill into the concrete & use anchors where we attach “eye bolts” (instead of stakes) to attach ratchet straps. Some Tents can also be weighted with Concrete Weights which alleviate the need to drill. Weighting is an added expense & often involves forklifts. NEVER use water barrels to secure a tent. You can find vendors who will underweight a tent in order to do it for less cost. It’s NOT worth it – plan for the worst! See Staking vs Weighting
What do you need to do before the tent set up?
- Some cities require a “Tent Permit”. Call your city hall to inquire about cost, requirements, & what you need to get this done. IT’S THE CUSTOMERS RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE ALL THE APPROPRIATE PERMITTING! We can supply copies of Tent Fire Retardant Certificates (we prefer at least a 2-week notice). We can arrange Permitting for $100 PLUS whatever the city fee is.
- State of Minnesota has a NOISE ORDINANCE from 10 PM to 7 AM. We cannot use jackhammers for installing stakes (large tents) between those hours unless you have a special Permit.
- If you have underground sprinklers, septic, or other underground utilities YOU must flag the heads, mark the lines with string & point this out to our installers. We cannot see what is under the surface of the ground & take no responsibility for any damage to subsurface utilities/lines.
- Clear the area in which you want the Tent installed. It must be completely free of obstructions PRIOR to our installers arriving.
- We advised you to mow, sprinkle, remove pet feces, etc the day BEFORE setup (that includes snow plowing when necessary).
- Turn your sprinkler system off for the ENTIRE time the tent is on property.
- Restrain animals & pets while our staff & equipment is on property. Please prevent pets from urinating on equipment!
Are the tents weather proof? Under normal weather conditions tents provide a dry haven for outdoor events. Tents are temporary structures and ARE NOT intended to be occupied during lightning or high winds – evacuate to a permanent structure during inclement severe weather. See this link for more information. Since weather is unpredictable, you must use good judgment, common sense, always monitor & anticipate local severe weather.
- Rain Water: can collect on the tent fabric & cause ‘ponding’ or ‘water pocketing’ under certain weather conditions, especially if the tent tension loosens. The additional weight from water will cause tent to sag & ponding will continue to get worse. The weight can destroy the tent vinyl &/or cause the poles to bend, break, or sink into the soil. Highly saturated soil will cause stakes to lose their holding power. If you notice pooling water, carefully push up from underneath to push water over edge to empty pool.
- Wind & Rain: can cause the tension of the tent to change by loosening ratchets, pulling stakes, &/or causing poles to shift or sink. It’s very important to do routine maintenance checks & maintain proper tension on tent top at all times especially if weather conditions are such that ratchets, straps, or ropes begin to loosen.
- Lightning: Immediately evacuate tent until the chance of a lightning strike is no longer present.
- Snow: Tents & Canopies are not designed to carry any type of snow load. The weight can destroy the tent vinyl &/or cause the poles to bend, break, or sink into the soil.
How far out should you reserve a tent? Although we have several tents it’s best if you reserve your tent as early as possible to ensure the size you want is available. We are required by law to have underground public utilities located & marked BEFORE we can stake. This is a free service however Gopher One requires a 48 business hour notice. If arranged for with less than a 1 week notice or Gopher Ones unable to locate the utilities, we may be able to weight the Tent however there are extra fees for weights, weights on grass, & orders placed less than a week in advance.
When does Broadway install & remove the tent? We prefer to put tents up 1 to 3 days prior to your event & take them down the next business day. This gives us time to postpone in case of inclement weather on the day originally scheduled for installation and allows you time to do setup & decor!
For example: if your party’s on a Saturday, we usually install the tent Friday (the least expensive cost is if it can be at ANY TIME fitting best in our route). We sometimes set up a day or 2 earlier depending on the situation and how many projects might be scheduled for that week, as well as where they’re located. Pickup is most often scheduled for Monday (we’ll ask you for the event start & end time to determine exactly when the best time for pickup would be). If you’re having a Friday night dinner party that starts at 6:pm, you may want to arrange for a limited time / earlier delivery on Friday (which has an extra fee). For most events, there is no cut and dried time for installation or takedown because of many different factors. We strive to be flexible and accommodate the needs of our customers balanced with weather, as well as what’s possible for our tent crews to do in a day. The actual timing can vary widely & will depend on what other services we have to coordinate inside such as stages, flooring, electrical, decorating, table settings, audio visual, etc. All these take time so plan accordingly. Any other delivery or pickup other than ANYTIME 8:am to 5:pm Monday thru Friday, like after hours, holidays, & weekend installations will have additional fees to be determined by the specifics of your event (such as timing & manpower requirements to fulfill your request).
It’s important to know that SAME DAY setups & strikes are possible (for additional fees) but YOU run the risk of delay or even cancellation, Broadway will not allow staff to setup a tent with high winds or lightning – it’s dangerous! Cancellation fees still apply if weather cancels an event!
Can you decorate the tent? Yes, but please do not use anything that will get next to the tent top and possibly cause a color transfer. Crepe paper, balloons, signs, etc. are a few examples of things that may induce a color transfer, which will require the tent to be specially cleaned or possibly replaced, which will be the responsibility of the renter to cover the costs. If you have any questions please ask prior to doing any decorating. NOTE: Some cities require that all decor be fire-retardant.
Can you BBQ under the tent? NO. Barbecuing will damage the vinyl. Also, the International Fire Code 3104.7 states, NO Open flame or other devices emitting flame, fire or heat or any flammable or combustible liquids, gas, charcoal or other cooking device or any other unapproved devices shall not be permitted inside or located within 20 feet (6096 mm) of the tent or membrane structures while open to the public unless approved by the fire code official.
How does lighting work? We first run extension cords thru the top of the Tent as we install it and run cords down the center or side poles. We can install lights either pointing down or reflecting upwards off the Tent top. It’s helpful & necessary to have the power source available BEFORE we setup so we can test it!
Can someone from Broadway Party & Tent Rental look at our area and tell us the size tent we can put up? Yes. We’re happy to come to your place & survey the area! In fact on Tents 30′ & larger we often require a SITE INSPECTION because we feel it’s important to verify measurements, check for overhead obstacles, etc. There is a minimal charge for this service in the Twin Cities area (which may be credited on Reservations). If outside the area call for pricing. Please complete this Layout.
Plan a Site Visit by ALL the major vendors. With a Site Inspection, vendors will probably see more than you realize! Things like, where does the water go if it should rain; electric source options; pedestrian flow between the facility & tent; how it will effect your continuing business operation; how to make the event safe; and many other compliance issues. Broadway Party & Tent Rental may even help you anticipate the needs of the other suppliers!
What if you only need the tent for a couple hours – is it cheaper than the “event” rate? Our charges are the same for 1 or 3 days. A large part of Tent pricing is the labor involved in loading, delivery, unloading, setup, strike, load, unload, & then to clean it! Additional days/weeks/months are priced at a discount (please call our office for pricing).
See this link more More Information