The staff at Festival Conference and Student Center enjoys facilitating student programming, but when working with us to plan your events, it’s important to ensure that you know and follow the policies for our spaces that you plan to use.

On this Building Policies page, you’ll find a list of regulations, from general to more specific guidelines, that your organization must keep in mind when planning events using the spaces within University Unions. Click on each link to jump to each section:

When Making Reservations

  • PLAN AHEAD ! ! ! The JMU Event Approval Form is due to the Festival Scheduling Office two weeks before an event, but special approvals usually take anywhere from four to six weeks. Planning in advance ensures that you can get the required approvals for public safety, food, and other special services necessary for your event.
  • Campus Police must approve dances, concerts, and other high-volume events held in Festival spaces, such as the Ballroom, Highlands room or the drum. You’ll need to schedule this meeting at least four weeks in advance of your event's reservation date.
  • Cancellations must be made at least 24 hours prior to the event or your organization will incur a $25 non-cancellation fee.
  • All events must end at such a time as to accommodate closing of the facility at the conclusion of normal operating hours. Clean-up and tear-down of equipment must be complete by this time. Failure to vacate the facility by closing time will incur a $50 fine and a $25 per hour fee for any portion of the event outside of normal hours of operation. Non-compliance to this regulation may prevent future use of the facility.
  • Any space request for events outside of normal operating hours is subject to approval and if approved will be charged at a rate of $25 per hour.  The normal building hours can be found at the bottom of this page.
  • No events may be scheduled later than 2:00am.

Do’s and Don’ts for your Events and Advertisements

  • Open flames, including candles of any type, are prohibited in Madison Union facilities. Incense is also prohibited.
  • Smoking and the possession/consumption of alcohol is prohibited in these facilities.
  • Tape is not allowed. No tape of any kind is allowed on floors, walls, ceilings, windows, or door glass.
  • Glitter is not allowed. No glitter of any kind is allowed in any space including on banners and signs. If the reserving group fails to comply there will be additional charges for cleaning starting at $50.00.
  • Doors and windows are not to be covered. There is to be nothing covering any of the windows in your event space. Failure to abide by this will result in loss of reservation privileges including cancellation of existing scheduled events.
  • Exits are to be open and clear at ALL times. No tables are to be set across doorways for any reason. The aisles of Grafton-Stovall and Memorial Auditorium are to remain open at all times (no sitting in the aisles).
  • Common areas of the facilities are to remain open to the public at all times.
  • Violations of University Policy, Facility Policy, State and/or Federal laws may result in loss of reservation privileges and cancellation of existing reservations.
  • The sponsoring organization of an event is responsible for the actions of all guests and participants, as well as ensuring that the maximum room occupancy is not exceeded at any time. (Capacities are posted in all areas).
  • A reserved space is to be returned to its original condition before leaving after the completion of your event.
  • If the university is closed for any reason, ALL scheduled events will be cancelled.
  • For Wilson and Memorial, if there is another scheduled event following yours, housekeeping will be required to clean and the cost will be billed to the previous organization or group.

Providing Food

Aramark Inc. has exclusive rights to provide food and beverages on campus. Arrangements associated with food and beverages for any events must be coordinated through the Special Events Catering office ((540) 568-6637). If you would like to have non-catered food you must obtain approval from JMU Dining Services.

Special Structures and Activities

There are a number of special event types and structures you can hold in Madison Union spaces, but be sure to obtain approvals prior to planning your organization’s events. Some examples include:

Dunk Tanks

Dunk Tanks are only allowed if they are manned by the company that is providing them. Personal owned Dunk Tanks are not permitted


Tents must be pre-approved prior to their use. NO tents can be used on campus for camping/sleeping in. Event tents can be 10 x 10 and must be secured or weighted. If you wish to use a larger tent you are required to meet with the Assistant Director of Madison Union to fill out a request/approval form. This must be done 30 days prior to the event and will require a $150.00 permit fee and may incur other cost for inspection. The provider of the tent must present a an up to date certificate of insurance naming JMU. There may be other regulations that apply.


If your organization would like to use a portable stage, you must schedule a meeting with theFestival Event Services Coordinator to fill out a special request/approval form. This must be done at least 30 days prior to the event and will require a $150.00 permit fee and may incur other cost for inspection. The provider of the stage must  provide an up to date certificate of insurance naming JMU. Other regulations may apply.


Inflatables of any type must be submitted for approval to theFestival Event Services Coordinator. This must be done at least 30 days prior to the event and will require a $150.00 permit fee and may incur other cost for inspection. The provider of the inflatable must also provide an up-to-date certificate of insurance and a current inspection certificate for the state of Virginia. Other regulations may apply.

Pie Throws

The Festival Event Services Coordinator must review all pie throws. Consideration will be given based on events in close proximity during your intended date, weather conditions, and your overall plan and goals. The University has specific guidelines we must follow in putting on these special events to ensure the safety of participants and audience members.

Smashing Events

Smashing events of any kind are not permitted.

If you’re seeking approval for any of these event types, please contact the the Festival Event Services Coordinator at,  FESTIVAL

When in Doubt, Give us a Shout!

The Festival Scheduling Office as a whole wants to make student ideas and programming a reality. If you have any questions or concerns about  policies, the sooner you get in contact with us, the easier it will be for us to answer your questions and ensure your event is a success.

You can contact us with your questions at, Contact

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