Sports and leisure

Busking in York

Busking is an important part of creating a vibrant, exciting and cosmopolitan atmosphere for residents, visitors and businesses in York.

Guide to busking in York

A culture of mutual respect amongst all those who share public spaces is encouraged. Our busking guidelines give information for buskers, local businesses and residents about what's expected.

The guide has been written up and agreed by:

Buskers should also review the busking byelaws and details about licenses and the sale of CDs.


Busking and COVID-19

This guidance is in addition to the full Busking Guidelines.

Busking and COVID-19

Most COVID-19 restrictions were lifted on 19 July 2021, but City of York Council, North Yorkshire Police, York BID and Make It York are all committed to ensuring York city centre can continue to be enjoyed safely following the changes to coronavirus regulations. We'd appreciate your ongoing help to keep infection and transmission rates as low as possible in York.

As an individual making money from street performance you're responsible for your own health and safety, as well as that of other people involved in the act and the health and safety of your audience. You're required by the Health and Safety at Work act 1974 to carry out your own risk assessment, including coronavirus transmission risk, and ensure that your act is carried out in a safe way. Failure to do so could result in enforcement action by City of York council.

In order to keep members of the public safe during performances it's strongly recommended that you continue to do what you can to control COVID-19 and reduce the likelihood of transmission. As a result it's recommend that you consider the following during your acts.

Your location

Allow enough space for people to watch and move past you and your audience safely. Try to keep at least 2 metres from all audience members as singing increases the risk of transmission.

Your set

Spending too long in one place could encourage larger crowds. You may wish to consider reducing the length of your set or taking more regular breaks to encourage people to move on.

Your volume

Excess volume may attract members of the public from too wide an area into your patch. Keep your volumes down to ensure you keep a manageable crowd.

Your audience

Social distancing remains one of the most effective ways to reduce COVID-19 transmission, therefore we would urge you to avoid creating congested audiences and to advise people to move apart or wear a face mask if they have one.

We appreciate your continued support while the pandemic continues.

Also see

Neighbourhood Enforcement Team

Community Safety Hub

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Telephone: 01904 551555