About Busking and Street Performance
In the U.K., without any written regulation, the city government proclaims publicly that no license or permit is required for busking and any complaints relating to noise nuisance would be investigated. We have not checked if this is the same with other cities of the U.K.
Cambridge, MA has a Street Performers Ordinance
Buffalo, NY: Charter and Code of the City of Buffalo
(Charter 319 Performers, Outdoor)
Toledo, OH: Municipal Code (Chapter 757 Soliciting Funds)
There are many busking festivals around the world. Usually they happen during the summer only for three to ten days. In the U.S.A., the Downtown Denver International Buskerfest is famous. It was created in 1993, and has since grown into one of the premier street performing festivals in North America. More than 150 world-renowned entertainers have visited Downtown Denver to perform to a regional audience of 180,000 people annually.
Chicago’s New East Side Association sponsored and hosted an annual BuskerFest at various locations around the New East Side neighborhood of Chicago.
Canada has several busking festivals including Edmonton International Street Performers Festival (July 5-14), Waterloo Buskers Carnival (Aug. 21-25), Windsor International Buskers Festival (Aug. 14-18), Nelson International Street Performers and Arts Festival (July 19-21), Dundas Busking Festival (May 30-June 1), Kingston Buskers Rendezvous (July 11-14), and Halifax Buskers Fest (Aug. 8-18). In addition, Italy, Norway, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand host busking festivals, too. B. Busking in conjunction with, or under the auspices of the city government In some cities, busking is encouraged by the city government or organizations in conjunction with it. In that case, busking is held on a standing basis under certain conditions regarding venues and time.
Portland, OR: Every Saturday and Sunday from March until December the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood of Portland transforms into a thriving arts and crafts open-air marketplace. Initiated in 1973, Portland Saturday Market (PSM) has become a central economic engine for the area, and attracts an estimated 750,000 visitors each year. PSM created a program for busking at the Market with some guidelines regarding spaces, sign-in procedures, time-slots, etc. PSM could never have gotten started without the cooperation and aid of the city, and still relies on the long-term partnerships. 2) San Jose, CA On January 8, 2002, the Redevelopment Agency Board of San Jose approved issuance of the Public Space Programming “Request for Proposals”.
The goal of the RFP is to attract qualified and interested programmers with a clear program that could to enliven public space with the addition of events, regulated street performers, furniture and infrastructure; and, to coordinate the public space program with the Agency and the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs. One of the programs is Saturday Art Market , which has happened on the second Saturdays since last September in the SJ Repertory Plaza.
New York, NY: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)’s Arts for Transit office has administered many visual and performing arts programs to increase the attractiveness of transit facilities for customers. One of which is Music Under New York (MUNY) . MUNY began as a pilot program in 1985 and became official in January 1987 with the receipt of a $75,000 grant from The General Electric Foundation. The program is now funded and directed by the MTA Arts for Transit office and administered by consultants Performing In Public Spaces. At present more than 100 individual performers and ensembles – ranging from classical to Cajun, bluegrass, African, South American and jazz – participate in over 150 weekly performances in approximately 25 locations throughout the transit system. Musicians can join MUNY through auditions held in the Spring of each year at Grand Central Terminal. Performers accepted into the program attend an orientation meeting where they are given materials explaining the regulations of the program, especially regarding passenger safety and comfort. Performers are also given a MUNY banner imprinted with their name and phone number and other materials such as t-shirts and buttons. Performances are scheduled at locations in subway and commuter rail stations, including the Long Island Railroad and Metro North. Sites have been selected with the approval of their station managers, representatives from the police, NYCTA stations and system safety departments. No sites are situated on platforms, and all conform to the most restrictive versions of the Transit Authority’s regulations for non-transit uses. New sites adopted on an experimental basis are selected by the Arts for Transit staff, approved by the station manager, and monitored for passenger safety and comfort.