“How do you make your money” is more-or-less the first question people ask us, after we’ve described our business to them. 

So, here’s a breakdown of exactly where our money comes from, and what we spend it on.



No Commission on tips for Busk.co

The Busking Project does NOT take a commission on tips processed through our website or apps. We make no money if you make money on tips (although we do take a small commission if you sell music on our site).

Bank fees

It’s important to note, however, that 2-8% of your tips will go towards the online banking services (like PayPal or Stripe) that make the transactions safe and secure. That money does not go to us.


We also do NOT charge a commission or a fee, for either street performers or for the people hiring them. However, we do ask that both clients and buskers give us a voluntary donation if the event is successful.


We create websites for clients and outdoor arts festivals that may or may not include street performers (like this one). The technology for those websites is based on what we’ve built here – but tailored for brands, festivals and so on.

Grants + Donations

In 2015 we won a £50k Nominet Trust grant. In 2018 we got a £15,075 Paul Hamlyn Foundation grant. We’ve also run three successful crowd funding campaigns, and get donations through our site.

Other sources of funding

  • We have “PRO” accounts, which are accounts that give paying members some extra features, like a monthly list of festivals all over the world that they can apply to.
  • We also get “affiliate sales” from people who click specific links that take them to websites like Amazon.
  • We give buskers “branding audits”, giving them (for a fee) a complete run down of their social media profiles, website, and even the email they send festivals.
  • And every now and again we’ll have an event producer who’s looking for a lot of buskers, who agrees to pay us 10% on top of the fee they’re paying street performers.




90% of our money goes towards paying staff; developers, designers, our social media manager and others who make our site run. We also pay freelancers when projects come up.

Office Space

Nick and Lily rent desks at inexpensive co-working spaces. Otherwise, our developers work from home, our social media manager too. It’s rare that we need more than two people in the same room at one time.


Our wonderful accountant, Tasnim Mustafa, who does our books and helped us get £40,000 in a “research and development” grants over the years. That’s way more than we’ve ever paid him. If you’re in the UK, you can hire him here:  barnesandscott.com

Web Services

Slack, Google Apps, hosting of all our content, renting our domains, our “task management” software, Pivotal Tracker, our automatic email app, Mailchimp, and all the other things we use to make the site function. It’s complicated doing what we do!


We sometimes have to buy things like computers (when they die), and we pay for the odd Facebook Ad when we’re testing out new ideas. But, generally these costs are minimal. There are only a few of us, and we have what we need.


We pay no dividends to investors

We’re not a “for profit” – earning is secondary to our mission

Our team is small

Nobody’s making a fortune off this.

And most importantly – we don’t charge buskers to use the service. All your money? That’s all yours.