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National Busking Day: How easy is it to busk in Peterborough?

National Busking Day is July 25 - but how easy is it to celebrate in Peterborough?
Buskers do not need a licence to perform in Peterborough (Photo: Pixabay)

Buskers do not need a licence in Peterborough unless they wish to sell their pre-recorded music. To sell CDs, a street trading consent will need to be obtained.

Otherwise, musicians are merely asked to abide by Peterborough City Council's buskers code of conduct.

These rules state:

  1. Music and voice should not be too loud so as to cause annoyance - and amplification equipment is strictly prohibited without prior consent from city centre management.
  2. Entertainment should not be provided for more than one hour at any one pitch - and it should not be repeated in that place, or within 50 metres of it, within two hours.
  3. Buskers should not obstruct footpaths or perform in enclosed areas like arcades or footbridges. The performance should also not lead to the throughfare being obstructed by people gathering to listen or watch the performance.
  4. If requested to stop the performance by a police officer, a city council officer, or a representative from a nearby business, buskers are required to do so.
  5. The chosen spot should not be within 50m of another busker, nor should it be in close range of public telephones in case these need to be used.
  6. Buskers should not perform in a manner which is dangerous to themselves or the public. They are also required not to present themselves in a manner likely to cause alarm or distress to the public.
  7. Money collection containers should be placed so they do not obstruct passers by.
  8. Street performers are not permitted to use fire in any performance.
  9. Buskers are asked to keep their chosen performance site clean and clear.
  10. Animals should not accompany buskers - although there is an exception for buskers with disabilities who require the assistance of a trained guide dog.

Buskers are also advised to insure themselves against the possibility of civil action by third parties.

The council states, in the code of conduct, that busking and street theatre are "part of the Peterborough shopping experience, helping to create an enhanced and pleasant atmosphere for many people".