Safely Set Up An Event Tent

How To Choose And Safely Set Up An Event Tent

Summer is the season for graduation parties, weddings, family reunions, barbecues, and other backyard activities. If you know Illinois weather, you know it can change in a flash. That’s why it’s a good idea to set up an event tent…just in case the day of your party turns from sun to showers. Did you also know that any tent installation on your property requires you contact JULIE—Illinois’ FREE notification service to prevent underground utility damages—first? It’s one of three steps to follow to safely set up an event tent for any occasion.

Choose And Safely Set Up An Event Tent

First, choose the size tent you’ll need by determining how many people you expect to attend your gathering.


A 10-by-10-foot tent, for example, can comfortably accommodate about 10 to 12 guests in a casual setting and tent installation can be handled by one or two people in minutes. A group of 100 or more will require a larger tent, which may need to be set up by the rental company.

Next, select the style of tent you prefer for your occasion

JULIE Before You Dig

  • A pop-up canopy offers the easiest tent installation and typically is the most cost effective option. It’s compact, pre-assembled and lightweight for easy transporting—think tailgating.
  • A pole or tension tent is another popular variety and comes in a multitude of sizes. Due to the amount of support relying on this structure’s stakes, anchoring it into the ground properly is essential.
  • A frame tent is fully supported by a free-standing frame that must be secured to the ground at each leg. With no center poles, the space under the roof is maximized, making it ideal for large groups and mingling.
  • A cross cable tent also has no center poles but has an attractive high peak appearance, perfect for formal gatherings like weddings.

Anchor your tent securely

Contact JULIE before 4 p.m. Wednesday

This is critical for the safety of your guests, especially given Illinois’ volatile weather. And it’s how JULIE fits in. Utility lines are buried on your property—some as shallow as a few inches deep—and whenever you drive a stake into the ground to set up an event tent, you risk striking one if you don’t know where the lines are located. To avoid a service interruption on your big day or causing personal injury to yourself or others, the person or company installing the tent should contact JULIE at least two business days before you plan to set up your event tent. JULIE will notify utility companies to come out and locate and mark their underground lines so you know where you can safely stake your anchors.


Ahead of time, measure the perimeter of the tent and where your poles and anchors will go. This allows you to visualize how much space is needed in your yard, especially for large structures. Then pre-mark the approximate area where you’d like to setRead More- JULIE FAQs up your event tent with white flags or paint. That way, locators can quickly and accurately identify if and where lines are buried in that region. Do you have an underground sprinkler system, natural gas or propane line to a built-in grill or pool heater, or sceptic system? These are all considered private lines and need to be located independently by the service provider, owner or operator, or their representatives.

After all underground utility lines have been marked, you’re free to set up your event tent. Click here for more detailed steps to follow. If you’re having your tent installation handled by professionals, be sure they respect the marks and always pay close attention to the tolerance zone when driving stakes into the ground. Now that you’ve followed these three steps to safely set up an event tent for your special occasion, all that’s left to do is…relax and enjoy your party!

Safe Digging Tip

Safe Digging Tip: Always contact JULIE before you dig to have utility lines on your property located for free by our members. Valuable utility lines may be buried just beneath the surface and hitting one could disrupt critical services, cause serious harm to you or your family, or even result in costly repairs and fines.


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