Location: Music and Art >> Busking and Street Performing
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Busking permits and so on...
Posted March 29th, 2013 - 6:02 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Hello all! I'm an Australian performing artist heading off to Europe soon. Intend to do some busking along the way, and I was just wondering about the legal requirements of busking in various places around Europe? Do I need a permit? If so, where do I get it from? Will it cost me and if so, how much? Are there any areas I'm DEFINITELY NOT allowed to busk? Any websites you could refer me to with more information, if you're not entirely sure?

I'll be spending time in the following locations:

Any help would be appreciated!

In fact if any other buskers have similar questions about other specific areas, why not list those areas here? I'm sure the locals would be more than willing to help you out (any questions I can help you with about busking in Melbourne, Hobart or Launceston?)...

Posted March 29th, 2013 - 11:51 am by from Morecambe, England (Permalink)
Hey Jesse!

Sweden I've not played so I can't help you there.

Amsterdam they're currently cracking down on busking- I believe the current situation is that amps are banned and also you cannot play on the main shopping street (Calverstraat). There are other towns nearby that are probably better to play anyway.. Try Amersfoort..

Rotterdam I don't know, but Delft and Naaldwijk nearby are OK..

Dublin I hear that they're trying to enforce a permit scheme- to be honest it's not a great place to play anyway- way too many buskers.

Galway used to be OK and it's a great little city- I lived there for a while about 10 years ago..

Cork I'm not sure about..

My general advice would be to just turn up and play, and then see how far you want to push it if you have any problems..

get me on facebook if you want I'm at www.facebook.com/chesteracoustic

Good luck mate,

Posted March 30th, 2013 - 7:11 pm by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
Council websites can be good, google can translate them with a button at the top of the page although sometimes it doesn't work properly! Of course we have to find out whether the rules on said websites are enforced, which is the annoying part! I think Galway introduced a rule about not playing past midnight but it's supposed to be good place to busk, I've heard it's a great town.
Let me know when you get to Ireland/Western Europe eg Holland/Germany, can't remember exactly where you said...I'm traveling with a soprano sax and a ukulele and looking for people to busk with, I was checking out your profile and by the sound of your taste in music/instruments we might gel nicely. I dig all kinds of music and enjoy jammin funky/mellow/jazzy/folky/hip hop type vibes, experimental or moody or whatever, introspective flowing music works best for me on soprano. I'm traveling down thru ireland soon and workin my way onto the continent so let me know if you wanna do some buskin together ;)

Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 10:24 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Hi Emily!

Thanks for your advice. Why I didn't think of council webpages before, I have no idea!

I'll be on the continent (somewhere between Stockholm and Rotterdam) in the last half of May, and Ireland for most of June. I play ukulele too! Should be great fun, I'd love to go busking with you...


Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 9:09 pm by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
Hmmm, I'm kind of doing that backwards without the Scandinavia bit! Remind me when you get down towards denmark/holland and i'll see where i'm at ;)

Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 10:19 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Hi Chester,

Thanks for all your tips. I don't have an amp, so Amsterdam shouldn't be too much of a problem! I think I'll be spending most of my time in Galway, so that should be fun.

I'm actually not on facebook, but if I were I'd "befriend" you immediately!

Thanks again


Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 6:58 pm by from Rotterdam, Netherlands (Permalink)
Hi Jesse,

I do have experience in Holland with busking. Try Amsterdam, but please, skip Rotterdam. A permit is necessary, and the people don't seem to like buskers. I know because I lived there almost all my life. Try The Hague, Leiden or Delft instead, a much better atmosphere and crowd!

Dublin you can try, I've been there (didn't do busking since it was december), I saw a lot of buskers coming out of nowhere between the rainshowers, so I expect you to get a lot of concurrention there! A lot of talented people as well.

Your trip sounds awesome, just have fun! And post a message when you're in the neighbourhood, maybe we can jam together on the ukelele (yes I play one too :))

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 2:16 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Hi Mark, thanks for your advice. How easy is it to get from Rotterdam to The Hague/Leiden/Delft via public transport? I've heard lovely things about Delft, and it's the closest to Rotterdam, so I'd be inclined to go for that one...but I imagine it really wouldn't matter which one I pick, as the Netherlands is such a small country.

YAY, another fellow ukulele player! Apparently there's this big open jam session in Amsterdam every Sunday (they call it "Jamsterdam," ha ha!), which only costs a couple of euros (venue hire, I presume). I'm definitely going to be checking that out as well. All instrument players and genres are welcome, it seems. Maybe I'll see you there as well?...

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 10:02 am by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
whereabouts is the jam session?

Posted April 4th, 2013 - 3:10 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
About 10 minutes walk from Museumplein. Can't remember exactly. If you type in "Amsterdam" in the "where would you like to go" searchbar above, you should be able to find it in the events section...

Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 9:32 pm by from Bray, Ireland (Republic of) (Permalink)
Hi, Im from ireland..
I do Fire poi and fire breathing performances sometimes.
Its 100% allowed in Dublin,Cork and Galway to Busk..

Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 9:53 pm by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
Another taxing question - what's the deal with work permits if you're foreign? If the police stop you because you're making too much noise are they are going to check if you're legally allowed to work in the country? I imagine that will be annoyingly different for each country...

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 2:09 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Oh dear. Would the police really be that picky about busking counting as "work"?

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 10:05 am by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
well in the UK technically it's work, supposedly you should pay tax on it, don't know if they ever bother cracking down on that...

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 6:52 pm by from Morecambe, England (Permalink)
Yes but it would be the Inland revenue that was investigating you...

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 7:53 am by from Morecambe, England (Permalink)
I shouldn't think you'll have a problem with work permits generally (depending on where you go- I've heard Thailand are very hot on that for musicians)..

As a UK citizen you have a right to work anywhere in the European Union...

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 10:01 am by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
Silly me, I knew that...would have thought outside of the EU would be a different story though...

Posted April 4th, 2013 - 3:14 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Unless there's some massive political revolution and the Queen reclaims the entire commonwealth, thus re-forming the British Empire, I doubt I'll be a UK citizen anytime soon, ha ha!

Posted April 4th, 2013 - 6:20 pm by from Morecambe, England (Permalink)
Haha. No you should be OK with that Jesse- the comment was meant more for Emily.. :-)

Posted April 8th, 2013 - 6:15 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
oh. Well I feel stupid now... ;p

Posted April 8th, 2013 - 10:54 am by from Morecambe, England (Permalink)
But you can never trust that queen of ours- you saw what happened to Princess Di!!!

Posted April 21st, 2013 - 3:16 pm by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Barely! I hadn't even reached double digits in age back then!

I'm confused: how exactly was that the Queen's fault?

Posted April 21st, 2013 - 5:05 pm by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
I'm on my way to Belfast tomorrow for a few days before venturing into Ireland. Where are you on your busking adventures at this point?
Emily :)

Posted April 22nd, 2013 - 11:40 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Still in Australia! My first destination is Sweden, and I get there on the 16th of May. Won't get to Ireland until it's almost June...

Posted April 23rd, 2013 - 12:11 pm by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
Ok, well I have a friend coming to Ireland in June so haven't decided whether I'll be hanging around or just traveling on. Either way if we stay in touch we may meet somewhere in the middle :)

Posted April 24th, 2013 - 6:38 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Sounds good! I'll get in contact once I'm actually in Europe, and we'll go from there, eh?

Posted April 24th, 2013 - 3:12 pm by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
Sounds like a plan :)

Posted May 24th, 2013 - 7:59 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Off to Amsterdam for the weekend, then I flly to Dublin on Monday...does that fit with your plans?

Posted June 2nd, 2013 - 3:32 am by from Cork, Ireland (Republic of) (Permalink)
Just wondering how the trip is going- any hassles from cops in any of the places you've been? I'm heading to the Benelux region in late July/August for some busking, so I'd be interested to hear about the Dutch cities...

Also, this is probably too late, but I live in Cork, and busking is legal and pretty good, especially on Paul St and Patrick St.

Posted June 2nd, 2013 - 4:17 pm by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
hello, i'm in galway for probably the next couple of weeks at least, then possibly moving down towards county kerry :)

Posted June 5th, 2013 - 10:36 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Hey Emily! I'm in Galway right now! I'll be around for a week or two, so we should definitely meet up sometime. I think I'll hit up the Crane Bar session tonight, if you want to come along and listen or join in...

Posted June 6th, 2013 - 12:07 pm by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
hey, i popped into crane bar last night but didn't see ya - i was a bit late to be fair...ended up bumping into some people i'd met at an open mic and going to a party so all was written in the stars. anyway, there's an amazing laughter club on this evening that happens each week on thursdays at 8, it's on at the uni -this evening it's in the uni art gallery. If you've not experienced laughter yoga before you should definitely give it a try because it's super awesome! Basically involves lots of laughing. The people down at the galway laughter club are lovely. i'm meeting a friend outside the celtic tourist hostel (queen street, in between victoria hotel and the docks) at half 7 and walking down there, if you want to join us, or maybe i'll see you down there! if not (or as well), would you fancy some friday evening busking - i'll try to be out there around 8ish, hit shop street. Did pretty well the last couple of weekends.
Look forward to hearin from ya :)

Posted June 9th, 2013 - 7:43 pm by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
AAAAAAAAARRRRGH! I'm so sorry, Emily, I completely forgot I had posted this, and I've been couchsurfing with some guys who'd just moved into their place in Galway and hadn't quite got around to getting internet yet, so I've been a bit "off the grid" so to speak for the last few days. I'm leaving Galway tomorrow to go to Inisheer, but I'll be back on Tuesday. If you get this soon enough, I'll DEFINITELY be at the Crane again tonight (10 onwards, I believe), but if not, maybe we can catch up Tuesday night or on Wednesday sometime? Maybe send me a personal CS message instead of replying here on the forum, that way I'll be sure to see it!

I hope I haven't come across as a complete snob!

Yours most apologetically,


Posted June 5th, 2013 - 10:34 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Hi Tyler,

I didn't get around to busking in the Netherlands, as I found out too late about the need for a permit. From what I've heard, though (which isn't much) Amsterdam and Utrecht are probably the best locations.

Not too late at all! I haven't been to Cork yet, so, I'll definitely be hitting up the busking there. Thanks for the tip!


Posted June 5th, 2013 - 10:37 am by from Latrobe, Australia (Permalink)
Hi Tyler,

I didn't get around to busking in the Netherlands, as I found out too late about the need for a permit. From what I've heard, though (which isn't much) Amsterdam and Utrecht are probably the best locations.

Not too late at all! I haven't been to Cork yet, so, I'll definitely be hitting up the busking there. Thanks for the tip!


Posted April 8th, 2013 - 3:17 pm by from Heraklion, Greece (Permalink)
K, I saw that its not in your destination list, but anyway, its info, someone might refer to it, and who knows, you mind end up there anyway!
So, in Greece, recently, busking was legally named a piece of culture, so now no-one can tell you to stop playing or go somewhere else and all that. Only if you are on their private property and they want you gone. Police will not move you or bother you (at least they should not).
Also, same thing in Istanbul, Turkey. I played in various places around the centre of the city, and no-one moved me or told me to stop, and the money was really good, too. So if your journeys ever find you in Greece, you are free to busk your way around :D

Posted April 8th, 2013 - 3:20 pm by from Brighton, England (Permalink)
What if you are causing someone a nuisance and they ask you to stop? In Britain I think that means if you don't move they can call the police and you are breaking the law because you are causing someone a nuisance

Posted June 11th, 2013 - 10:18 pm by from Moscow, Russia (Permalink)
Great thank you for the information, I just entered the group to see thyis about Greece. I will be in Athens and I would love to take my drum and play and sing on the street =) we will see how it will go =)

Posted August 5th, 2013 - 10:40 pm by from Onex, Switzerland (Permalink)
Hi Antonis,

Just wondering whether the rules are still the same about street performance? I am going to stay around Santorini for a few weeks...
Thank you!

Posted August 26th, 2013 - 9:11 am by from Milano, Italy (Permalink)
Hi Jesse, sorry for the extreme late but i just joined the group and rarely i have long time on internet.

Dont have time to check all the other answers u got, hope not to repeat something others already said.

With the "managers":) of hitchwiki we r trying to set up a "Buskwiki" with all the information required to share and help each other as busker as we already do as hitchhikers. Still need time, and in the meanwhile im trying to add (not any yet..:P) some "busking section" at hitchwiki.

Being on the road form 1 year and 9 months, i needed a way to get some money time by time even if i dont need a lot a have several spared it's always better to have an entrance:) so now it's more than 8 months that i busk around eastern and northern Europe form Turkey to Norway (unfortunately not yet any of the places u mentioned but ill go stockholm and malmo soon) and i can tell u just my experience.

Basically u need a permit almost everywhere..but u dont have to care about it almost ever :) just go in the main pedestrian streets of the city, some touristic spot, (depending on ur instrument also a place people can hear u, subway-mall tunnnels, parks etc) and ust start doing it.

U may see that doesnt work for the following reason:

1) there r NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE, and u dont get enough money, solution, after a while (at least 15-20 min) move somewhere else

2) there r already OTHER BUSKERS that mght b friendly or not (rarely they r but u could have also nice encounters), solution, move somewhere else (hard to find other spot since they often get the best ones) or ask them how long they r gonna play and if u can play after them (mostly they get the best hours..

3) POLICE can annoy u. this is the "legal requirement" u were talking about it. Most of times the permit is kind of hard to get, u have it from the local municipality, it can take time (in Sofia it wasnt ready after 2 months and wont have been probably ready ever..in other city, like Sibiu, Romania, it took 10 min and costed 1Leu (0.25E) per squared metre per day per person..:) amazing and efficient) and u have to apply for it..basically is for locals/people who live there who most of the times dont care and play without permission. it can cost money but usually is not something too expensive.
Most of times u need it in closed areas like inside the subway.
soluton, dont mess with them, give them ur documents just apologize, negotiate, say u didnt know about it, u r sorry and go away. they wont fine u and even if they will u wont pay it..:)

3a) also NEARBY SHOPKEEPERS can bother u if they dont like ur music, think its too loud or simply dont have anything better to do..they r arrogant most of time and is very easy come into a fight since they provoke and insult u..ignore them and go away.

hope could have been useful and not too late and hope u ll contribute in buskiwiki!:)
good luck