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                    Busking and street entertainment

                    The City of Melbourne is proud of its reputation for supporting lively street culture and greatly values the diversity of entertainment that buskers provide in the public realm.

                    ​Artistic and cultural life is integral to Melbourne as a creative city and we encourage performers from all backgrounds and abilities and through different mediums to showcase their craft in the city.

                    Meet the buskers of Melbourne.

                    What is busking?

                    In the context of the City of Melbourne’s Street Activity Policy 2011, a busker is considered to be an entertainer who is actively providing a public performance in the public space in exchange for a donation.

                    Busking is defined as sounding or playing a musical instrument, singing, reciting or performing conjuring, juggling, puppetry, miming, dancing or other entertainment or doing any of those things concurrently. Busking also includes the activity of drawing any message, picture or representation on a pavement, paper or canvas surface.

                    Types of busking performances may include:

                    • performing with an instrument or multiple instruments, conventional or self-constructed
                    • performing a song, dance routine, mime, clowning, juggling, puppetry, comedy, magic or living statue act
                    • actively working in an artistic medium such as painting, portraiture or chalk art
                    • performing a Circle Act with or without dangerous goods (includes the use of substances that are flammable, toxic or hazardous and implements such as swords, knives and whips).

                    How to apply

                    To apply for a City of Melbourne busking permit, see Busking permits.

                    What is not considered busking?

                    The below activities are not considered busking, so will not be issued busking permits; however, they may be eligible for other permit types:

                    • selling or street trading of any kind
                    • artists selling pre-fabricated work – pavement artists must be actively engaged in producing their artistic medium and not simply selling displayed artworks
                    • photography
                    • arts and crafts
                    • drawing and painting on postcards, t-shirts, bags or other goods
                    • touting, spruiking or advertising
                    • political rallying
                    • religious preaching and promotions
                    • fortune telling including tarot card reading and palmistry
                    • massage, chiropractic treatment or any other physical manipulation
                    • face or body painting
                    • temporary tattoo applications including henna
                    • cosplay and soliciting donations for photos taken while dressed in character costumes
                    • mascots
                    • fundraising on behalf of a charity, cause or organisation
                    • events or promotions even if they involve any element of performance.
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