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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.

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 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 may 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.