Busking is a time-honoured tradition that dates back to medieval times, when wandering minstrels and bards travelled from place to place and acted not only as entertainers but also as news reporters and message bearers.

Cambridge is a unique place for buskers, with many spots in the city centre for them to stop and play, and visitors, residents and businesses enjoy the variety of entertainment.

Disturbances caused by buskers

Busking is not a licensed activity in Cambridge. However, in an attempt to minimise disturbance, buskers in Cambridge are asked to adhere to a voluntary street performers' code of practice.

If a busker is causing a disturbance, either by making too much noise or by staying in one place too long, you could try speaking to them to point out the code of practice and the time of their arrival, and ask them to move elsewhere after an hour or to turn the volume down.

If the busker responds in a hostile or threatening way, you should report it to the police. Report the threat as a Public Order Act offence and ask for an officer to respond.

There is no dedicated resource set aside to respond to busking complaints but wherever possible we will do our best to get someone to visit the busker to explain the code of practice. However unfortunately we are unable to guarantee this.

Please note that we do not have the power to require buskers to comply with the code, and the law of nuisance would require a stay much longer than one hour and, potentially, a significantly high volume before formal enforcement action would be possible.

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