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Busking permit

Busking is not usually considered a licensable activity under the Licensing Act 2003. However, if you want to sell any goods, such as CDs and merchandise, you will need a street trading licence.

You don't need a licence for unamplified live music between the hours of 8am and 11pm.

Children under 14 aren't allowed to busk.

What you need to consider

Busking is not illegal but you should ensure you are:

  • not making too much noise
  • not blocking public highways (footpaths, pavements, open pedestrian areas)
  • not displaying notices asking for payment
  • not using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or written material.


  • you may only busk in designated areas
  • you are asked to comply with any requests to move on from a council official, police officer or other official representative. This is down to common courtesy, if a noise complaint is received, turning your music down may be a suitable compromise
  • you may not perform for more than 2 hours in any one area, after this time you will be asked to move on
  • you must not be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol
  • amplification should be operated at a reasonable level
  • circus skills performers particularly fire eaters must have and be able to produce Public Liability Insurance, some performers may be required to produce a risk assessment when asked.

Designated areas


  • Falkland Square
  • Kingland Crescent
  • Open space near Café Nero
  • Chapel Lane Square
  • Old Orchard
  • Poole Museum
  • Fish Shambles.