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Street entertainment and busking code of practice

  1. Busking must not be intrusive or a nuisance to nearby premises. The sound level at 25 metres or more should not be dominant or above background level
  2. In some urban parts of West Northants it is now an offence under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to continue busking after a Police Constable or Authorised Person has requested that you refrain from doing so. The performer/s must immediately comply with any instruction given by an authorised officer of the Council or Police. If the Council receives a justified complaint it could result in action being taken and the confiscation of musical instruments, etc
  3. Entertainment is only permitted between the hours of 10:00hrs and 18:00hrs
  4. Performers are responsible for ensuring the highway is not obstructed by equipment or people gathering to listen or to watch the performance (note: Highway includes any footpath, pavement or open pedestrian area or place, and must immediately stop the performance if any audience creates such obstruction
  5. Performers must not obstruct the highway (including pavements), shop doorways, frontages, or other private property
  6. Amplification equipment should meet health and safety standards and be set at low, acceptable levels
  7. Performers must not remain in any one location for more than 1 hour and should not perform again in that location (or within 100 metres of it) on the same day
  8. Particularly noisy performers (e.g. bagpipers, drummers, bands) are not permitted to perform for more than 30 minutes and must not return to the same location within 2 hours
  9. A performer must not locate within 150 metres of another performer
  10. Performers shall not make use of the street furniture, such as public seats, lampposts and railings
  11. Performers should stop performing if a complaint is made about excessive volume and attempt to reach a compromise by reducing your noise level
  12. Performers must not cause offence or distress to members of the public
  13. Performers shall not perform in a manner which is dangerous to themselves or to the public
  14. Performers should not actively seek contributions (this is treated as begging and you could be arrested). You are permitted to have a hat / case nearby which passers-by can choose to put money in, if they wish
  15. Performers must leave the location in a clean and tidy condition
  16. No sign shall be displayed inviting payment (except where a collection for charity has been authorised by the Council or the charity commissioners)
  17. The council does not permit street trading within the town centre of Northampton. Therefore if you wish to sell items this can only be carried out in accordance with a pedlar’s licence issued by a local police authority. A pedlar’s permit means that you must carry your goods, continually moving from area to area and not just staying in one street.

Last updated 22 February 2024