Busking and Street Entertainment
Busking and other forms of street entertainment are welcomed in Test Valley.
Good street entertainment can enhance the vitality of town centres and provide pleasure to visitors and residents. You do not need a licence or permission to busk or provide street entertainment in Test Valley. However there are certain restrictions and you are expected to follow a code of practice.
Busking should not interfere with planned events such as markets and should not take place at all at Council authorised events, e.g. Christmas lights switch on, unless previously agreed by the Council.
The entrances to the Chantry Centre shopping centre in Andover are private and governed by byelaws prohibiting busking.
Code of Practice
Buskers and street entertainers must follow the Code of Practice for street entertainment:
- Music or voice shall not be amplified to a level or to be so loud that either can plainly be heard at a distance of 50 metres. Mains or generator-powered amplification is not permitted. Busking must not be intrusive, a nuisance in nearby premises or affect the public or the use of entrances/exits to shops, phone boxes, post boxes, cash machines or to shop window displays
- Private land apart, entertainment is restricted to a maximum of one hour in any one place (pitch) and shall not be repeated in that place or within 50 metres of it within two hours. Note: particularly noisy entertainers, e.g. bagpipers or drummers, should not perform for longer than 30 minutes
- Entertainers shall not obstruct the highway. Entertainers are also responsible for ensuring that the highway is not obstructed by people gathering to listen or to watch the performance (note: Highway includes any footpath, pavement or open pedestrian area or place)
- Entertainers shall not make use of street furniture, such as public seats, lampposts and railings
- Pitches chosen shall satisfy the above criteria and must not be within 50 metres of another busker
- Entertainment is only permitted between the hours of 1000 hours and 2000 hours (1000 hours and 2200 hours in June, July and August)
- No sign shall be displayed inviting payment (except where a collection for charity has been authorised by the Council via a Street Collection Permit)
- You must not actively collect money, but you may have a receptacle e.g. box, hat or musical instrument case into which you can accept donations from members of the public in return for your performance
- You are not able to sell anything such as tapes, CDs and T-shirts while you busk unless you have first obtained a street trading consent from the Council
- Entertainers shall not perform in a manner which is dangerous to themselves or to the public
- Entertainers shall not dress, act, or say anything which is likely to cause alarm, distress or offence to a member of the public
- Entertainers must stop performing immediately if requested to do so by a Police officer or Council officer.
For more information on this code of practice please contact:
Legal & Democratic Service
Test Valley Borough Council
Telephone 01264 368000
Fax 01264 368005