Code of conduct

Accordian player

Busking is:

  • performing in a public place (usually singing or dancing)
  • when the intention is for the people who are there to give money for performance

You do not need a licence to busk, but if you are busking to raise money for charity you will need to obtain a street collection permit, which is free of charge.

There is a voluntary code of conduct that we would encourage you to participate in.

The code was written to prevent busking from:

  • becoming intrusive and an annoyance to people (usually by loud, continuous or repetitive noise)
  • obstructing the highway

If you are interested in busking in Cheltenham, you might want to have a look at the Cheltenham Buskers' Network on Facebook.

Noise nuisance

If a busker is causing nuisance with noise from amplified music, the council has the power to take action. Please contact us. The police also have powers where they consider a public nuisance or obstruction is being caused.

The code of conduct

1.  Noise (for example music or voice) should not be so loud that it can be plainly heard at a distance of 50m

2.  Drumming should only be included as a minor part of the act

3.  An entertainer should not perform for longer than one hour in any location, and should not perform again at that location (or 50m from it) for three hours

4.  An entertainer should not obstruct free passage of pedestrians or vehicles on the highway (including pavements and pedestrianised areas), or allow an audience to do so. Access to shops, cycle-stands and bus-stops should be kept clear

5.  Use should not be made of street furniture such as, lamp-posts, seats and bins

6.  No sign inviting payment may be displayed

7.  Proper use of public telephones should not be prevented, either because of noise or obstruction

8.  An entertainer should not locate within 50 metres of another entertainer who is already performing

9.  An entertainer should immediately stop performing when requested to do so by a police officer or council official

10. The appearance and quality of an act should demonstrate a positive intention to entertain passers-by, not to solicit money through sympathy