Busking in London: update

Busking in London: update
  • Reams of red tape and a myriad of confusing rules could force talented buskers off London’s streets, the Mayor Boris Johnson has warned as he launched a new campaign to nurture the capital’s street musicians.

  • There is no doubt that live music on our streets adds to the city’s vibrancy, but I fear some parts of the capital could become no-go areas for buskers. Rather than shackling our musicians with unnecessary bureaucracy, we should treasure the spontaneity they bring to our high streets and town centres.

Since Boris Johnson launched his campaign to make London the most busker-friendly city in the world in 2014, a lot has happened.

As we feared at the time what has happened has been entirely the opposite. What has been supported and nurtured is a sanitised, regulated, corporate  version of street performance, whilst genuine grassroots busking has been systematically marginalised and  criminalised.

The sad fact now is that there is virtually nowhere viable and open to busk in central London.

Barking and Dagenham no restrictions.


Bexley  Claim that busking is licensed. We are unaware if legislation has been passed and need to follow this up.



Camden license now only applies to louder acts, circle shows and groups




Greenwich has now introduced licensing in Greenwich and Woolwich town centres. Other areas open as normal.


Hammersmith and Fulham- PSPOs banning amplification in Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush 


Harrow seems to have a PSPO in place requiring permission from the BID to either busk or use amplification (not clear which) and only in Harrow town centre area.Clarifiaction requested but not received.

Havering open. Successful campaign against PSPO in Romford.

Hillingdon Licensed with only 4 locations available.

Hounslow “If a busker or a group of buskers act in such a way as to cause a nuisance to Passers by, then they will be asked to cease and leave the area.”


Kensington and Chelsea operate an extremely complex PSPO regime.

Kingston upon Thames Guidelines





Redbridge 3 ‘designated” pitches in Ilford town centre. Otherwise uncontrolled.

Richmond upon Thames



Tower Hamlets PSPO in Brick Lane prohibiting busking after 9pm. Possibly rescinded.

Waltham Forest




St. Albans consultation

St. Albans consultation

We’ve been contacted by St. Albans to comment on proposals for a new code of conduct regarding busking. Essentially the old voluntary code still stands but there are suggestions to change details on market days.




“Keep Streets Live appreciate the fact that St Albans have contacted us as part of their consultation and also that they appear to be continuing a voluntary and collaborative approach towards busking.
We believe the code of conduct is largely sensible but are concerned that some of the proposals on market days, such as taking a break every twenty minutes, would be unworkable. We’d be happy to discuss alternatives to this that would achieve the aim of reducing disturbance whilst still ensuring that the city remained attractive to street performers.”


Beside the seaside…

Beside the seaside…

We’re pleased to announce that we’ll be starting our #KSLBesideTheSeaside series of busking gigs at The Hideout in Seaburn every Sunday from 11am to 1pm.

This is a great location right on the seafront and the perfect place to come along, blow the cobwebs out and listen to some live music on a Sunday morning. Coffee, cakes and bacon rolls available with a view to die for.

Please bring some cash to tip your artists. You can also donate here by PayPal.

Sun 5th June Covers and originals with a folky flavour from our very own KSL Director Chester

Sun 12th June Ian Douglas Soul, R&B, Reggae Saxophonist.

Sun 19th June Ian Douglas Soul, R&B, Reggae Saxophonist.

Sun 3rd July Sara Kate Michel Singer/guitarist from London on UK tour.