Busking information

We welcome the life and colour buskers bring to the local area, 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 central Sydney and surrounds.

Pilot busking guidelines for Pitt Street Mall  

We are trialling new busking guidelines with amended busking conditions in Pitt Street Mall. The pilot guidelines cover this site only.

The pilot started in May 2016 and we are extending the pilot busking guidelines until the City’s busking policy review is completed in 2017 to provide a consistent approach to busking in Pitt Street Mall. 

You can download the pilot busking guidelines for Pitt Street Mall.

Areas where buskers can perform

Buskers can perform in permitted areas provided they adhere to the City's busking guidelines and policy.

  • Restricted areas have extra busking conditions that apply. Details about restrictions are on page 10, section 29 of the guidelines. Please note, this includes Pitt Street Mall (busking site 6) which is subject to pilot busking guidelines from 16 May 2016.
  • Excluded areas are not governed by the City. Contact the relevant authority for details about their busking policies. Read page 10, section 28 of the guidelines below.

The map and table below outline restricted and excluded areas.

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 City any day, anytime. Our staff will investigate each complaint received and take appropriate action.

Safety reviews

If you use dangerous materials or tools in your act on City-managed land, you must pass a safety review. 

Safety reviews are scheduled for the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Appointments are essential. 

To book an appointment, email busking@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au by the Friday before the review takes place. 

The City does not undertake safety reviews for buskers performing on land managed by Property NSW, including Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and The Rocks.

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 under special circumstances).

If you are part of a dance group and applying for a general busking permit, you are required to contact the City's busking program coordinator on 02 9265 9333 to discuss your busking performance before applying for your permit. 

If you wish to apply for a special busking permit you must have proof that you have passed a safety review conducted by the City.

Busking permits will be issued over the counter the same day you apply. You can download the busking application form.

Busking permit cost

Busking permits are available for 3 months (quarterly) or for 12 months (yearly). The 3 month permit is $13. The 12 month permit is $47.

Map: restricted and excluded areas for busking

Restricted and excluded areas for busking
Restricted areas

Macquarie Place Park

Corner Bridge and Loftus Streets, Sydney (2 sites)
Wynyard Park Between York and Carrington Streets, Sydney (2 sites)
Martin Place (A) Between Castlereagh and Pitt Streets, Sydney (1 site)
Martin Place (B) Between Phillip and Castlereagh Streets, Sydney (2 sites)
Martin Place (C) Between Phillip and Macquarie Streets, Sydney (2 sites)
Pitt Street Mall Between King and Market Streets, Sydney (3 sites)
Hyde Park North and Queen’s Square Between St James Rd and Park Street, Sydney (3 sites)
Belmore Park Eddy Avenue, Surry Hills (6 sites)
Taylor Square Oxford, Bourke and Flinders Streets, Darlinghust (4 sites)
Paddington 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)
Areas not covered by the City of Sydney
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
Royal Botanic Gardens and The Domain Trust
Sydney Opera House Site
Urban Growth NSW Development Corporation
Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust
Centennial Park & Moore Park Trust and NSW Roads and Maritime Services

Last updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2019