What Laws You Should Know Before You Watch a Street Performer


The street performer is a staple of the entertainment world. But what you watch on the street may be more than just good entertainment; it may also be against the law.

Before you take in the latest street performer, here are some things to know:

**A street performer needs a permit.** The performer you see has gone through all the legal steps necessary to perform for you. If you don’t see a license, don’t give him any money because he could be breaking the law and might not even be very good. You want your hard-earned money going to someone who can walk a tightrope or swallow a sword or juggle at least three balls at once, not some guy who can barely count to two and gets winded when he tries to juggle two balls.

**You might need a permit to watch.** It depends on where you live, but in some places, if the performer doesn’t have his permit clearly displayed and you end up giving him money, you could end up in trouble too! So check your local laws before shelling out any cash!

**The police can shut it down at any time.** Most performers will have their permits with them for this very reason. Even if they do have their permit and are completely

When you watch a street performer, you may not be aware of the local laws that govern them. There are many rules and regulations that performers need to abide by, and sometimes locations can be in violation of those rules.

For example, there is an intersection in Berkley, CA on Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street where there are buskers who perform regularly. The corner has become popular because it’s a large square where the audience can gather around performers and watch them do their thing.

But people who have been watching these performances for years don’t know that this performance location is actually illegal. If the police find out about these performances, they will have to pay fines.

How do we know this? We visited the public works office to get the scoop on what local laws govern street performances in Berkley, CA. We spoke with a government employee whose job it is to educate others on the laws governing street performers.

Here’s what we learned:

It’s illegal for street performers to perform in Berkeley without a permit if they’re going to collect money for their performances. To get a permit, performers must apply at the city clerk’s office at least 60 days before the event. They also need to provide proof of insurance for themselves as performers and other details about their

Street performers provide us with a variety of entertainment. Some are talented and skilled, but others may be just looking for attention. Before you take in a street performer, make sure you know what to expect. Street performers are subject to certain regulations, which they must obey if they wish to continue their performance. Violations of these laws can lead to fines, or even jail time.

The first thing to watch out for is that the street performer may have an accomplice in the crowd. The accomplice will pretend to be a member of the audience and will try to get you involved in the performance. They may ask you to participate in some way, or they might ask for your money. If you see someone like this, do not give them any money or assist them in any way. If you do, the street performance may be illegal and you might be charged with a crime as well.

The second thing to watch out for is that the performer may use dangerous tools or equipment during his show. For instance, he might juggle knives or use fire as part of his act. Always keep your distance from these types of dangerous performances; if something goes wrong, it could result in serious injury or death.

The third thing to watch out for is that the performer

If you’re like me, you love watching street performers. We all know that “busking” (the technical term for performing on the street) is legal in San Francisco, but there are many rules that street performers have to follow, and it is important for audience members to know about these laws, as well.

For example, did you know that it is legal for a performer to solicit money, but illegal for an audience member to give money? Or that it is illegal for a performer to play music within 20 feet of another performer? While the general rules are very simple (don’t block doorways or walkways and don’t accept payment), there are many laws that street performers need to follow; here is a link to the list of busking laws in San Francisco: http://sfgov.org/olse/sites/default/files/FileCenter/Documents/1090.pdf

If we have any questions about these laws or any others, we can always ask the performer directly. And if we want to show our support for street performers, we can always buy a CD from them or sign up for their mailing list!

…elaborate on the laws that street performers need to be aware of.

Also, a very important law to be aware of is the Animal Welfare Act. This act states that if you are going to use any animal in your street performance (such as a dog or horse), they must not be harmed in any way or you will be fined and/or arrested.

For example, according to the law in New York City, street performers must be at least 20 feet away from the entrance of a store; audience members are not allowed to block store entrances for more than five minutes at a time.

In addition to where street performers can perform, there are also regulations on what kinds of performances are allowed. For example, in New York City, performers cannot use any amplified sound or cover their faces during performances.

A performer must have a license if he or she wants to perform for donations. In New York City, a performer must pay $175 per year for a license; this money goes toward maintaining the city’s parks and other recreational areas.

There is no doubt that street performance brings entertainment to people’s lives. But they also bring headaches to city officials and people who live and work near where they are performed.

For example, some people are concerned that street performance brings crowds of people who pickpocket or harass passersby. Other people say that the noise from street performers makes it hard for them to sleep or get work done.

A street performer, busker, or sidewalk performer is a person who performs in public places for gratuities. Other names for the type of performer include busker, street musician, street entertainer and busking.

Performances are anything that people find entertaining. The term busking was first noted in the English language around the middle 1860s in Great Britain. The verb to busk, from the word busker, comes from the Spanish root word buscar, with the meaning “to seek”.

The practice of busking is practiced all over the world by men, women and children and dates back thousands of years. There are many different traditions of street performance. Some performers use a prop or object on which they focus their act such as juggling or balancing. Some performers capture their audience’s attention by using humour or wit; some perform feats of magic or danger; some play music; some dance; some mime; some sketch portraits; and still others recite poetry or tell stories. The term “busker” comes from the Spanish root word “buscar” which means “to seek”, and it is thought that this may be because there is a common belief among many street performers that at one time they were seeking something more than what life seemed to have


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