Music Australia News

City of Sydney Calls For Public Feedback on New Busking Policy

Scarlett Di Maio
| October 9, 2018

The City of Sydney is calling for public feedback on its new busking policy, with an aim to make it easier to busk in Sydney.

The City’s new policy will allow for busking opportunities in more city locations and replace complex guidelines with clearer guidance to encourage more diversity in Sydney’s busking culture.

The proposed policy has been developed as part of the City’s Live Music and Performance Action Plan, in consultation with buskers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practitioners.

As part of the new policy, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will be allowed to busk without a permit in Sydney’s CBD, a move which has been welcomed by Indigenous performers. Permit classifications will categorise acts by “the level of impact they have on their surroundings”.

“Busking adds life and soul to a city and makes our public spaces more interesting and creative,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“We’ve developed the policy with the help of musicians, performers, residents, businesses, music industry representatives and government agencies, and we’ve learned from the world’s best busking cities.”

“Our new policy also recognises the right of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to experience and share their cultural heritage in the public domain.”

Acts will be classified under three categories:

  • Low impact: soloists or small groups using a performance space under two square metres.
  • High impact: acts that require a larger space or use higher-risk equipment or materials, or generate a louder or more repetitive type of sound.
  • Extended duration: human statues or pavement artists creating works over a longer timeframe.

The City will also work with landholders and neighbouring councils to provide buskers with the opportunity to perform in new places.

“Opening up more locations across the city will reduce the pressure on the most popular, high-traffic busking locations and attract performers to new locations,” the Lord Mayor said.

“This will reduce competition, increase access and bring more variety to acts taking place at popular locations.”

The City is now seeking community feedback. The local approvals policy for busking and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practice is on public exhibition until 29 October.

The City encourages locals, buskers, businesses and anyone with an interest in the busking policy to provide feedback by heading here.

Buskers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural practitioners are also invited to a consultation session about the proposed changes. The sessions will be held at Town Hall House, 456 Kent Street, Sydney (level 4, Marconi Room) on:

Thursday 11 October – 10.30am to midday

Wednesday 17 October – 5.30pm to 7pm

You can RSVP to attend one of the consultation sessions by emailing [email protected] Please specify the date of the session you would like to attend.

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