Street performers' code of practice

Street performing (busking) is a time-honoured art form that adds to the attractiveness and colour of Cambridge.

Performers can help to create an enhanced atmosphere and provide pleasure to many people, both local and visitors.

For those living or working in the city centre, however, busking can become intrusive or annoying and may lead to nuisance being caused.

The Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 empowers local authorities to take statutory nuisance action in relation to equipment, including amplified musical instruments used in the streets. However, this would only apply to exceptionally loud and prolonged incidents. In these cases we may be able to take legal action to abate the nuisance and prohibit its recurrence and this may, ultimately, include the seizure of musical instruments.

The code of practice

This code has been drawn up to set 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, 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.

While no resources are set aside to support the promotion of the code of practice, we may be able to visit the busker to explain the code and, if necessary, take formal action.

Further information

To report excessive noise levels or a busker overstaying in one place, in office hours please phone customer services on telephone number 01223 457315. At other times please call the Out of Hours Noise Service on telephone number 033 303 8389. 

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