Robert V. Setera Amphitheater Use Policy


Requirements and guidelines for use of the Robert V. Setera Amphitheater at Allen Pond Park


The City owns the Robert V. Setera Amphitheater at Allen Pond Park. This policy has been prepared to establish specific criteria for organizations wishing to use the amphitheater for special events.


The Department of Community Services has reviewed its current policy governing the use of the Amphitheater and has determined that, with increasing requests for use of this facility, the current policy needed to be revised. This revised policy provides use criteria for the facility, specifies available dates, and establishes guidelines for permitted users. The new policy will protect the facility and park from damage and improper use, ensure that permitted events are suitable for a public park forum, and are of general interest, with minimal disturbance to surrounding residents.


The use of the Amphitheater is restricted, in priority order, to city sponsored events; Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) events coordinated with the City; or by other groups which have obtained a Special Event Park Permit issued from the City’s Department of Community Services in accordance with this policy.

Special Event Park Permits for Amphitheater use may be issued only to:

  1. Bowie based schools, having their principal place of business in the City, for the purpose of secular educational activities, which will not exceed two hours in length.
  2. Non-profit organizations having their principal place of business in the City, provided that no more than one such permit may be issued to any organization associated with the event in any one-year period and provided that the program must be open to the public at no charge (although voluntary donations may be passively solicited), and further provided that the program be of general interest, and have no offensive or obscene content.

"Passively solicited" means that receptacles for voluntary contributions may be placed at appropriate locations at least 50 feet from the point of entry and labeled with their purpose. The existence of the receptacles may be called to attention of attendees as they enter the event but attendees may not be compelled or pressured to make a donation and no other mention, solicitation or request for donations may be made of attendees.

An organization seeking a Special Event Park Permit shall submit a security deposit (in accordance with the City’s current fee structure) upon application with the City; the deposit shall be forfeited if the City determines that the prohibition on the charging of admission has been violated or if any of the below noted Guidelines for Amphitheater use are not adhered to.

All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the time of day, date, and previously scheduled events or activities.

Fees for the use of the Amphitheater shall be in accordance with the City’s current fee structure.


Guidelines for use of the Amphitheater are as follows:

  1. All activities other than City-sponsored events or M-NCPPC activities require the issuance of a Special Event Park Permit. Special Event Park Permits for non-profit organizations will only be issued from September 15 - May 15, and will not be issued for the same dates that both City of Bowie and M-NCPPC events have been scheduled. City programs always take priority.
  2. Nonprofit organizations hosting charitable events must provide hired security personnel for the duration of their event. The organization must supply the City with appropriate documentation of security precautions, before a Special Event Park Permit will be issued.
  3. Participants and sponsors of all activities must comply with all Park Rules and Regulations as stated in Chapter 17 of the Bowie City Code, herein attached and included with the Amphitheater Guidelines.
  4. Performances must comply with all Environmental Noise Control Standards as stated in Chapter 13 of the Bowie City Code, herein attached and included with the Amphitheater Guidelines.
  5. If the permittee desires to include food, beverage, and promotional vendors, they shall be included on the Special Event Park Permit. The total number of such vendors shall not exceed three locations for any event. The sale of alcoholic beverages by any vendor is prohibited.
  6. If applicable, all tents /canopies must be freestanding. No ground spikes are allowed.
  7. All requests for the use of the Amphitheater will be made at least 60 calendar days prior to the requested event date.
  8. All requests for exceptions to the above policy must be supplied in writing to the City Manager for consideration. The City Manager can refuse to permit use of the facility if in his judgment the program or the attendees may cause damage to the facility or if the nature of the proposed program, without regard to the viewpoint of the content, is not appropriate for an amphitheater venue, by reason of the scope of the event, number of reasonably anticipated attendees, or otherwise. Notification of approval or denial of the request shall be made within 30 days of receipt of application.

Additional Information 

For more information please see the following sections of the City Code:

  • Chapter 17. Park Rules and Regulations
  • Chapter 13. Environmental Noise Control


Download this Amphitheater Use Policy.

Reservation Procedure

  1. Please call 301-809-3086 to verify the date and time you are requesting are available;
  2. Make a reservation in person at Bowie City Hall (all fees must be paid at time of reservation). Permits will only be issued to Bowie based schools or nonprofit organizations.