Busking in Bromley

Bromley Council allows busking in the pedestrianised section of Bromley High Street. No licence is required to busk, but we do ask that any individuals intending to busk complete our register of interest form; this lets us know that buskers have read, understood, and will abide by our code of conduct.

At times when there are special events being staged in Bromley, we may invite buskers who have registered an interest to perform.

Children under the age of 14 are not allowed to busk.

Busking code of conduct

Buskers are part of a wider town centre community that includes market and street traders, promotional events, shops, officers, residents, and members of the public and as such we expect buskers to understand and respect that and to follow our code of conduct.

Where to busk 

We allow busking in the pedestrianised section of Bromley High Street (between Elmfield Road and Market Square).

We have several suggested busking spots within that area:

  • Between Primark and Barclays
  • Opposite Next, adjacent to NatWest
  • Opposite Churchill Theatre
  • Outside Clarks by flower planter
  • Outside Metro Bank by flower planter

A weekly market takes place every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and in addition there are often special events held in Bromley High Street which may limit areas where busking can occur or obstruct a suggested busking spot.

Please ensure you are not blocking any entrances, market stalls, cash points or throughways. There should be enough space for wheelchairs or prams to get around you and your audience even at the busiest times. Remember shops may not appreciate you blocking their window displays so please be mindful when setting up.

Remember some sounds clash, please show respect for other performers and their acts by not setting up too close or where sounds will clash.

If there isn’t a suitable space for busking available, please wait for one.

If another performer is waiting for your pitch, please share it after half an hour.

Your performance 

Any equipment should be able to be packed up and moved easily and quickly.

Bromley do not allow percussion, brass or bagpipe busking or the use of more than one amplifier.

We ask that you do not busk outside the hours of 10am to 7pm.

Keep your performance below 85 decibels - you do not need to be loud to attract an audience and those enjoying your performance will come to you. You can download a decibel meter app on a smartphone to monitor how loud you are being.

Limit your performance in any one location to 40 minutes, move to a new spot for your next performance and consider taking a break between performances.

Be aware it can be your audience, and not you, who can become an obstruction. If you notice your audience is causing issues for other town centre users, please use the fact you are the focus of their attention to make your audience aware and consider pausing your performance to allow any issue/obstruction to be resolved.

Performers with a varied repertoire are more popular and attract fewer complaints. If you only know a few songs, move to a new location when you’ve played them; repeating the same songs can become irritating for surrounding businesses no matter how well you play them.

The biggest cause of complaints is sound. Please think about the amount of sound you make and remember that there are many flats, shops and offices in Bromley High Street, the people inside can’t walk away so be mindful and keep your volume at a very reasonable level.

Some sounds carry over long distances and all sounds can become annoying after a while.

Never leave your equipment unattended or in a manner which poses an obstruction or trip hazard.

Keep backing tracks unobtrusive and turn them off when you’re not performing.

If a Bromley Council Officer, one of our representatives, or a business asks you to cease playing, reduce the volume or to move to a new location please comply.

Collecting money

Performers can accept donations, but the public must never feel obliged to pay.

Buskers cannot sell items as part of your performance.

Resolving problems

Often introducing yourself to nearby businesses or traders and letting them know about your performance can make complaints much less likely.

Most issues can be resolved amicably, always be respectful and considerate and try and understand another’s point of view.

Remember, ultimately people working inside shops, offices, or living in flats can’t change their location, but you can.

Register of interest

Before busking, all individuals should complete our register of interest form. We will respond to confirm we have received the form and that applicants can thereafter commence busking.

What we collect on the register of interest and why:

  • Name and email: so we can contact you in regards to busking in Bromley and know how you’d like to be addressed.
  • Confirmation you are 14 or over.
  • Instrument to be played: so we can check it doesn’t fall into the non-permitted categories of percussion, brass or bagpipes.
  • A recent photo: if we receive reports of continual issues with a particular busker a photo can help identify who that is and allow us to engage directly with them.
  • Confirmation that you have read, understood and will abide by the Bromley Busking Code of Conduct above: so that we know you are aware of, and respect, the wider town centre community of which you are a part.

We will hold the submitted information for three years.