It’s a romantic idea; that street performers all over the world could be members of a pro-busker movement, intended to support their rights and freedoms.

Well, welcome to “The Busking Project CIC”…


The basics of a CIC

A “Community Interest Company” is first of all a company with a defined community. In our case, of course, “buskers” are our defined community. Secondly, we must serve the interests of our community. In practice, this means that everything we do has to somehow benefit street performers.

Strict “locks” on how we conduct business

We’ve taken the optional step of severely restricting what we can do with our money, our assets, our wages and so on. Nobody is about to get rich off of this organisation, regardless of how successful we are.



We don’t have a profit motive

Due to a historical artifact, we are a company “limited by shares”. Under normal circumstances, that would mean we’d have to create a profit for our shareholders.

However, our company’s “articles of association” prevent us from personally profiting, or from conducting business badly. For example;

  • The company cannot pay dividends to shareholders
  • The directors cannot appropriate any profit from the company
  • When the company winds up, all remaining assets will be donated
  • We will pay all of our employees at least a living wage*
  • We will never pay any staff more than 10x the median company salary.**

Put simply, we have no profit motive, our employees will be well-paid and our CEO/COO etc can’t get rich off this either.

* A “Living Wage” is a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living. This is normally higher than the “Minimum Wage”. For example, in London the minimum wage is £7.20, but it’s calculated that you can’t live on less than £9.75 without needing benefits.
** A pay disparity between the CEO and the median worker of 10:1 might sound like a lot, but the American average at the moment is 300:1. 



You can now become a member

The Busking Project CIC will now be led by it’s members, meaning it’s our members that get to decide what we do.

Here’s our new process:

  1. Management will propose ideas (like new features or advocacy work)
  2. Members will also pitch ideas, vote on what we should do and elect people to the board
  3. The volunteer board will make the decision on our next tasks, looking at the suggestions of management and our members
  4. Our management (Nick and Lily) will work out how best to do those things
  5. We’ll try our best, and then report to the board
  6. Who’ll report to the members
  7. And repeat

In other words, members will be pivotal in deciding both the present and future of The Busking Project CIC. Once we have enough paid members, we will elect some of them to our board of directors. The board will mainly be made up of street performers.



A Voluntary Board of Directors

This will be an unpaid position, so the people who are on the board will be doing it as a labour of love. A majority of the board will be street performers, but we’ll also get people in from other disciplines. Also, to ensure fair representation, we’ll endeavour to always have roughly the same number of circles as non-circles on the board.



Pledge to our Members, staff and Users

  • All of our basic tools will always be available for free
  • We will pay artists a competitive rate in all of the events we produce services we offer.
  • We will never give, donate, share or sell personal data
  • We will have a “flat management structure” employees will have some autonomy)


Our Mantra

Buskers are buskers; there is no difference between one and another, regardless of discipline, reputation or number of years spent busking. Everyone gets an equal say.

However, we will endeavour to ensure balance by having more or less the same number of circle show and non-circle show performers as members and board directors.

We will not show preference for the needs of “our” buskers over the needs of other buskers – we are here to help the entire busking community.

We are not a union or a “busker association”. We do not want, seek or claim any form of political power in any location. We are simply a membership organisation.

We will keep all members informed of our actions and our plans, we will ask members for help in making decisions, and we will endeavour to meet our members’ needs.

We are 100% transparent about how money is spent and raised, how we use our time/resources and who’s involved, from employees to clients to members.

We hope street performers will approach us to ask for help. But, when we see anti-busking policies, we may approach local buskers to see if they want our help.

We will never speak FOR street performers, but we will give street performers help in having a voice, and having their voices heard.

We do not get involved in local pitch disputes between buskers – local buskers sort out local issues.


What do you think? Would you become a member of The Busking Project? Do you like where this company is headed?

Heavy hats to all,

Nick, Lily and the rest of the team