Skip To Main Content

Coronavirus: Updates and information

We are adapting our services as the situation changes. For details and to find out how to get help or volunteer to help others, visit our 'Coronavirus: Help for communities' page. Please follow the official NHS and government advice.

Busking and the street performers' code of practice

Busking, or street performing, is a time-honoured tradition that dates back to medieval times. Minstrels and bards would travel from place to place, acting as news reporters and message bearers as well as entertainers.

Buskers can provide pleasure to many people, both local and visitors. But for people who work or live in the city centre, busking can become intrusive or annoying.

Code of practice

We don't license busking, so anybody can set up and perform at any time. But in an attempt to minimise disturbance, we do ask buskers to adhere to a voluntary code of practice. The code sets a standard that, if complied with, will ensure busking can continue without the need for us to take action.

We do not have the power to require buskers to comply with the code. We may be able to visit a busker to explain the code and, if necessary, take formal action. The law of nuisance would require a stay of much longer than one hour before formal enforcement action would be possible. It might also require a significantly high volume.

Challenge a busker causing a disturbance

If a busker is causing a disturbance, try speaking to them. Mention the code of practice and the time of their arrival. 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.

Contact us