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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.

Getting permission from the landowner

You must get permission from the landowner to busk. This could be:

  • the highways authority (to busk on public highway)
  • the town council
  • a private landowner

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


  • Children under 14 aren’t allowed to busk. 
  • You are asked to comply with any requests to move on from a council official, police officer or high street warden. This is down to common courtesy, if we receive a noise complaint, turning your music down may be a suitable compromise.
  • If you are interested in busking or performing street entertainment on Poole High Street, you will need a permit. This consists of a simple form and an understanding of the code of conduct. You will need to return the completed form with 2 passport sized photographs. Email for a copy of the permit application form. The busking entertainment permit costs £25 per year and applications are only granted following a successful audition. Please be aware that the maximum time allowed per busker in each location is 2 hours a day. Overstaying your welcome may lead to you being moved on. Persistent breaking of rules may invalidate your permit.