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Busking licence

When you need a licence

Busking is not usually considered a licensable activity under the Licensing Act 2003 but you may need a licence if you are holding an event where buskers are the main attraction.

If you want to sell any goods, such as CDs and merchandise, you will need a street trading licence.

You don't need a licence for unamplified live music between the hours of 8am and 11pm.

Getting permission from the landowner

You must get permission from the landowner to busk. This could be:

  • the highways authority (to busk on public highway)
  • the town council
  • a private landowner 

 What you need to consider

Busking is not illegal but you should ensure you are:

  • not making too much noise

  • not blocking public highways (footpaths, pavements, open pedestrian areas)

  • not displaying notices asking for payment

  • not using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or written material

Children under 14 aren’t allowed to busk.

Busking in West Dorset

The Community Enabling team of West Dorset District Council operate a voluntary registration scheme for buskers who want to perform in South Street, Dorchester.

You can apply for an identity card for the fee of £10 which lasts for one year.

Buskers who join this scheme must sign up to a code of practice which requires you to have public liability insurance.

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