Tent on cement, what are your options?

We get asked very frequently if we can do a tent on cement / asphalt / pavement / etc... The answer is yes, but there are some requirements.  Here is some info about how tents typically get setup on cement.

First off, the type of tent best fit for this setup is a FRAME TENT (versus a POLE TENT).  These are tents that can stand up on their own without the use of ropes / stakes.  Now, that doesn't mean they do not need to be secured / tied down.  

Options for securing the tent in place on cement:

  1. heavy cement blocks or ballasts.  (requires the tent company to load their truck with very heavy blocks, many tent companies do not have this options.  They instead use option #2.
  2. water barrels (this is the option we use).  Requires access to running water at the setup location to fill up the barrels.  A 50 gallon water barrels weighs roughly 450lbs when full, so these barrels must be filled close to where the tent will be placed.  We try to bring a long hose that can reach the setup area. 
  3. staking into cement - not ideal, but can be done.  Most venues hate this option, but you can drive stakes into asphalt / pavement then patch the holes after the event.  The holes are roughly 1-2" in diameter and very easy to hide / patch / fix. 
  4. Nothing / pray for no wind.  (kidding... don't do this!)

Note:  NOTHING is safer than staking the tent into the ground.  Water barrels / blocks are helpful, but not perfect.  If a tent needs sidewalls and must be on cement, we recommend using double the amount of water barrels (2 barrels on each leg).