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New York City – BuskNY

Busking has been legal in New York City forever, but decriminalised in the subway since 1985. Buskers keep getting arrested there though! Follow the latest arrests and regulations (and share your stories) here.
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  • Hello! New York City person here. I thought I would let you know that although busking is legal, it is prohibited in NYC transit. I'm not typing this to be a party pooper, I'm stating this to save people from being arrested. First off, I know there is a difference between Busking and Panhandeling, but some who busk, at times, panhandle. " Panhandling and begging are prohibited."
    However- Charities are allowed under these circumstances, "You may solicit contributions for:

    Religious causes
    Political causes
    Those charities that fall into one of the following three categories:

    Charities that have been licensed for any public solicitation within the preceding twelve months by the Commissioner of Social Services of the City of New York under section 21-111 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York or any successor provision.

    Charities that are duly registered as charitable organizations with the Secretary of State of the State of New York under section 172 of the New York Executive Law or any successor provision

    Charities which are exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code or an successor provision.

    Upon request, solicitors for such charities shall provide evidence that the charity meets one of the preceding qualifications.
    "
    And something else that I hope helps musical performers, "You may not use an amplification device of any kind on a platform."
    As well as not busking within a set amount of feet from a token booth.

    I realize this is a lot of red tape, however, if this information helps anyone, I will be glad.
    http://nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/crime_prevention/subway_information.shtml#campaigning

    However, here is the information on how to audition for music underground. http://web.mta.info/mta/aft/muny/factsheet.html
    Maritza
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