Busking Guidelines

Busking in the City of Charles Sturt

The City of Charles Sturt recognises that busking contributes significantly to local vibrancy in streets and values the diversity of entertainment that buskers provide in the public realm. We encourage performers from all backgrounds and abilities and through different mediums to showcase their craft in the city.

We encourage buskers and audiences use the hashtags #lovethewestside and #helloimcharlessturt when sharing on social media.

What is busking?

Charles Sturt defines a busker as an entertainer who actively provides a public performance in the public space in exchange for a donation.

Entertainment may be provided through playing a musical instrument, singing, reciting, conjuring, juggling, puppetry, miming and/or dancing. Busking also includes the activity of drawing a picture or representation on a paper or canvas surface.

What is permitted?

Types of busking performances we welcome include:

  • Performing with an instrument or multiple instruments, noise levels sensitive to the enjoyment of the area;
  • Performing a song, dance routine, mime, clowning, juggling, puppetry, comedy, magic or living statue act; and/or
  • Actively working in an artistic medium such as temporary painting, portraiture or chalk art.

Charles Sturt welcomes these activities provided the following is adhered to:

  • Buskers are friendly to other buskers, surrounding businesses and the community.
  • Buskers remain a minimum distance of 50m from each other.
  • Buskers may remain in one location for no more than 90 minutes within a 5 hour period.
  • Performance contains no knives, fire or other hazardous substances.
  • Buskers act within the law and manage their own risk to reduce any negative effect on other persons, businesses or property.
  • Buskers are responsible for managing their own risk.  All buskers agree to indemnify Council in the event of their own negligence. Risk management may include modifying the act accordingly or purchasing insurances as the busker(s) considers fit.
  • Group acts hold no more than 4 performers and do not take up more than 1.5m x 3m floor space.
  • Busking must not obstruct pedestrian movement, impede access or create a safety hazard.
  • Busking must not take place on a roadway.
  • Busker consults with directly adjacent business and residences prior to commencing performing.  Should complaints be received the busker must agree to move on.
  • For courtesy Council requests buskers hold a repertoire that would enable them to perform for at least 30 minutes without repeating a performance.

Busking on private land is at the discretion of property owners or tenants. Busking at events is at the discretion of the event organisers.

If people conduct themselves in accordance with the above and the act doesn’t fall under the below section of ‘What is not automatically permitted’, no further permissions from the City of Charles Sturt are required.

What does it cost?

Busking activities that fall within the above permitted categories are free to undertake.

What is not automatically permitted?

The below activities are not permitted without Council a permit or special approval:

  • Performing using knives, fire or other hazardous substances;
  • Performing for longer periods of time;
  • Selling or street trading of any kind;
  • Artists selling pre-fabricated work – pavement artists must be actively engaged in producing their artistic medium and not simply selling displayed artworks;
  • Performing permanent artworks or putting in place permanent installations;
  • Touting, spruiking or advertising;
  • Political rallying;
  • Religious preaching and promotions;
  • Fortune telling including tarot card reading and palmistry;
  • Massage, chiropractic treatment or any other physical manipulation;
  • Face or body painting;
  • Temporary tattoo applications including henna;
  • Fundraising on behalf of a charity, cause or organisation; and/or
  • For promotions even if they involve any element of performance.

Contact Council on 8408 1111 for more information on obtaining special approval or to obtain more information. These guidelines will be reviewed in January each year.