What Busking Looks Like in Different Parts of the World


Busking is the art of performing in the streets or public places for gratuities. It could be some form of acrobatics, animal tricks, fortune telling, juggling, magic, mime, or even reading of poetry or prose, or street art such as sketching. While it is a common practice, the specifics differ according to countries and regions.

It’s a Festival in Singapore

While Chicago is a no-busking zone, busking is considered a major attraction in Singapore. In fact, some of Australia and Argentina’s best perform along Singapore’s streets, wowing tourists from all over the world with their performances.

A staggering 200 local and international street acts crowd Singapore’s streets for an amazing display of talents. And unlike other places where you need a YouTube account or a major following, Singapore welcomes everyone.

London Will Ask You to Audition First

buskingIt’s not only Singapore that takes busking to another level. London also takes the art very seriously. In fact, they have tight quality control measures for street performers. The most interesting part in this side of the busking world is that you have to audition first.

All buskers in London, specifically in the Tube or Covent Garden are required to audition to secure a busking permit. Because more than 3 million people use the Tube every day, it is a branded performance area that generates the largest audience and the biggest tips.

You Can’t Hurt Anyone’s Feelings in Sydney

Although a form of free expression, Sydney forbids a busking set about a bitter breakup or anything that could potentially hurt anyone’s feelings. In fact, they have a law that bans “vilification of any community members, including, but not limited to, racial, sexual, gender or disability discrimination” during busking.

England prohibits drunk busking, while Dublin demands you know at least twenty songs to improve variety in street musicians and to lessen overplayed songs. Despite these strange restrictions, it’s still wonderful to play audience to a busking performance.

About the author

Eve Cooper

is a freelance photographer from Boston. Her passion for travelling has led her to visiting all 50 states and going to different countries across the globe, mostly in Asia.

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