Busking in the City
We welcome the life and colour buskers bring to the City of Sydney, from playing music, singing and dancing to all sorts of performances that entertain the public.
If you are a busker, this section provides the key information you need to get busking in the City.
Areas where buskers can perform in the City
Buskers can perform in permitted areas of the City providing they adhere to the City's busking guidelines and policy.
Our busking site map in the downloads section below details all the permitted, restricted and excluded areas for busking.
Unacceptable busking activities
- causing a nuisance or obstructing pedestrian or vehicle traffic and entrances to shops or buildings
- excessively loud performances
- acts that involve animals
- selling or offering for sale any articles, commodity or services with the exception of the busker's own original CDs and DVDs
- using dangerous implements or materials as part of the performance without a special busking permit
- vilification of any community members, including, but not limited to, racial, sexual, gender or disability discrimination
Non-compliance can be reported to the 24 hour Customer Service Centre on 02 9265 9333. Our staff will investigate each complaint received and take appropriate action.
If you use dangerous materials or implements in your act you must pass a safety review with us or the Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association (ACAPTA) before you can be issued a busking permit. Safety reviews are held monthly and appointments must be made in order for you to attend. You can book your appointment for review by contacting our Customer Service Centre on 02 9265 9333.
The busking application process
When applying for approval you will need to provide:
- a completed application form
- proof of identity
We will take a photo of you for your permit (except during special circumstances).
If you wish to apply for a special busking permit or an ACAPTA accredited permit you must have proof that you have passed a safety review conducted by either the City or ACAPTA.
Buskers applying for an ACAPTA accredited Busking permit will also need to provide a copy of their Public Liability Insurance ($10 million).
Busking permits will be issued over the counter the same day you apply. You can access the busking application forms in the downloads section below.
Busking permit cost
Busking Permits are available for 3 months (quarterly) or for 12 months (annually). The 3 month permit is $12. The 12 month permit is $45.
View a larger version of the Busking areas map
= Busking restricted areas
= Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
= Sydney Opera House Site
= Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
= Darling Harbour Authority
= The State Rail Authority of New South Wales
= Redfern Waterloo Authority
= Centennial Park & Moore Park Trust and Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales
= Centennial Park & Moore Park Trust
|Restricted areas||Excluded areas|
Macquarie Place Park
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
Between York and Carrington Streets, Sydney (2 sites)
|Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust and Roads and Traffic
Authority of New South Wales
|Martin Place (A)
Between Castlereagh and Pitt Streets, Sydney (1 site)
|Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust
|Martin Place (B)
Between Phillip and Castlereagh Streets, Sydney (2 sites)
|Darling Harbour Authority|
|Martin Place (C)
Between Phillip and Macquarie Streets, Sydney (2 sites)
|Redfern Waterloo Authority|
|Pitt Street Mall
Between King and Market Streets, Sydney (3 sites)
|Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust|
|Hyde Park North
and Queen’s Square Between St James Rd and Park Street, Sydney (3 sites)
|Sydney Opera House Site|
Eddy Avenue, Surry Hills (6 sites)
|The State Rail Authority of New South Wales|
Oxford, Bourke and Flinders Streets, Darlinghust (4 sites)
Corner of Newcombe and Oxford Streets, Paddington (2 sites)
|Queen Victoria Building Forecourt
Corner of George and Druitt Streets, Sydney (2 sites)
|Broadway Shopping Centre
Bay Street entrance (1 site)
|Busking permit application||PDF 323.3 KB||Download|
|Busking Site Maps||PDF 732.0 KB||Download|
|Busking Site Maps (including restricted areas and excluded areas)||PDF 2.3 MB||Download|
|Interim Busking guidelines 2011||PDF 170.6 KB||Download|
|Interim Busking Policy||PDF 170.5 KB||Download|
Last updated: Friday, 24 May 2013