1. Be a good neighbour and consider other citizens, buskers, passers-by and law enforcement. Maintain good relations with others, including local cops and business owners.

2. Unless otherwise stated, pitches are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

3. Artists should not set up within 50 feet of another busker without first consulting with them.

4. Artists with loud and amplified instruments/voices are encouraged to:

  • Find locations that conflict or interfere with the fewest artists and cause fewest community complaints.
  • Turn amplifiers/drums/loud instruments in towards walls and/or baffled with blankets to dampen and confine sounds.
  • Consult with other street artists in immediate performing area about volume and seek mutual solutions.
  • If requested to reduce the volume of music, buskers should try to do so, as far as possible, by reducing amplification or playing quieter tunes.

5. Buskers should not obstruct the flow of pedestrians, vehicles on highway, entrances to shops, fire exits, cycle stands, bus stops, and cash machines. In particular, sites close to fire exits, clash-points or doorways should be avoided.

6. Remind any crowd to keep a clear access along the highway, footpath or pedestrianized area.

7. Stop the entertainment immediately if the highway is blocked by the entertainment or the crowd, or if there is a risk to the safety of any individual or damage to a highway or structure.

8. Entertainers are not permitted to use ancient monument, street furniture, such as public seats, lamp-posts, bollards, planters and railings as part of their performance.

9. No merchandise (e.g Cds, posters, ect) may be offered for sale.

10. Busking in the streets should not start before 8 a.m. and shall finish by 8 p.m.

11. An entertainer should not perform for longer than one hour and a half in any location, and should not perform again at that location (or 50m from it) for three hours.

12. The performance area should be left in a clean and tidy condition.

13. Street entertainers must not actively request money, but may have some form of container (e.g box, hat, or musical instrument case) into which they can accept donations from member of the general public in return for their performance.

14. Performances must not be delivered in a manner that is dangerous to you or to members of the public.

15. Every busker is the creator of his or her own performance and is responsible for what he or she presents to his audience street. Vulgar, dangerous, aggressive or hostile behaviour and unwillingness to co-operate with others are inadmissible for us.


Here are some other rules that we did not include in our busking code of ethics.

What are you opinions on these?


Busking Card: In the town of Oxford, a Busking Card must be carried around at each performance. In order to receive a busking card, one must fill out an application form which requires two passport sized photos, a copy of passport, divers licence or birth certificate, a copy of NHS medical card or utility bill/bank statement (dated in last three months) or tenancy agreement along with your address and telephone number.

Performance length: Many code of ethics require a busker to move after a certain period of time such as 30 mins, 1 hour, 1.5 hours ect. Performers with equipment and large sets take time to get their performance ready. But at the same time, businesses and store owners don’t want to hear the same performance repeated all day, and share the location with other interested buskers. What time frame would you consider an appropriate? (If any).

Amplifiers: Some towns restrict the use of amps in performances due to noise level complaints in the community. Instruments nowadays need amps in order to produce sound. The acceptable Amp level decibels have been varied in different towns.

Underground busking license: In London’s Underground tube system, a busking license is given to interested buskers to perform in allocated areas known by the branded pitch.  There are 3.5 million Tube passengers every day and the limited number of licenses given have made it very competitive to get a license. Auditions are held in order to get a license and often sponsors pay for the joint publicity with their brand on the pitch. Past sponsors have included Carling, Capital FM, and Coca Cola.

Acts involving animals: The restriction of acts involving animals is due to the potential for animal cruelty and exploitation. Also, if the animal bites/scratches an audience member it can spread diseases and infections of the animal is unhealthy.

Cost of busking permit: Busking permits are available in towns, but some require a fee for a certain amount of time. For example in the city of Sydney, a Busking Permit cost $12 for 3 months or $45 for 12 months. Other permits cost more, others cost less.

Acts involving fire: Due to health and safety violations, fire acts are not allowed in towns. The risk of the fire spreading would be too dangerous for the community.