There is a great deal of variation between the amount of regulation different cities impose on busking. There are also differences in how strictly that regulation is enforced.

In many cases there is a conflict of interest between policy makers and street performers when it comes to the policies adopted. As part of this research, we want to highlight the perspective of buskers towards these policies and refer to the difficulties that they face in some cases.

The following sixteen reports on key focus cities illustrate many of the different regulatory approaches to busking. They assess how strictly the regulations are applied in the featured cities and contain feedback on the effects of the regulations from buskers.

The reports are listed alphabetically. First by country and then by city for those countries in which more than one city is featured. Each city is given a grade or score which is the combined value of the factors and regulations governing busking in that city.


New York, USA

Grade: -1 – Ranking 10th

— Busking is legal.

—  There is no mandatory licence, except for performances in parks although no one seems to adhere to this regulation. However, people with a licence might have some benefits.

— There is a mandatory licence for amplification. Again this seems to be widely ignored.

— There is a curfew only for performances with amplification.

—  The managing of busking is managed mainly by the New York Police Department. This might indicate that NY city authorities do not realise the possible potential for the city.