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Busking in Taunton

Busking in Taunton Town Centre

We are keen to encourage busking and other forms of street entertainment and have created a Facebook group to promote this within Taunton Town Centre. There is no licence required to busk or perform street entertainment. 

If you would like to busk in the town centre, please contact the Taunton Visitor Centre on 01823 340475 to discuss or drop us an email

To help buskers and entertainers and to avoid complaints, a code of practice has been introduced. Following the code of practice will help buskers/entertainers to stay on the right side of the law.

CODE OF PRACTICE

ENTERTAINERS MUST NOT:

1 Use mains or generator power for amplification. Busking must not be intrusive or be a nuisance in nearby premises (as prescribed in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (as amended). Music or voices should not be heard plainly at a distance of 50 metres.

2 Busk for longer than 1 hour in any one place and should not perform again in that place (or within 50 metres of if) for the next 2 hours. Note: particularly noisy entertainers (e.g. bagpipes or drummers) should not perform for longer than 30 minutes maximum time in any one place.

3 Obstruct the highway (road, pavement or open pedestrian area). Entertainers are also responsible for ensuring that the highway is not obstructed by people gathering to listen or to watch the performance

4 Make use of the street furniture, e.g. public seats, lamp posts, railings etc.

5 Busk within 50 metres of another entertainer who is also performing.

6 Busk before 10:00 hours or after 20:00 hours.

7 Display signs inviting payment, unless for a charity collection which has been authorised by the Council or the Charity Commissioners. (A letter of authorisation should be available for inspection upon request by an authorised officer of the Council or Police).

8 Perform in a manner that is dangerous to themselves or to the public or act in a way or say anything that is likely to cause an offence to a member of the public.

9 Position themselves on a footway or highway in such a way that could be deemed as begging by passers by or the Police e.g. sitting on or wrapped in a sleeping bag or blanket.

10 Act in any way that amounts to anti social behaviour and is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to members of the public or local traders.

11 Busk whilst under the influence of alcohol, solvents or drugs. 

Nuisance

On occasions busking may be intrusive, annoying or disturbing, particularly for people living or working in town centres. As a result both the Council and the Police can receive complaints about the volume and sometimes the nature of busking and street entertainment, and about obstruction to the highway caused by gathering crowds.

The Law

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, noise in the street from musical instruments may be a statutory nuisance and the Local Authority is able to take legal action to abate the nuisance and prohibit or restrict its recurrence; this may include the seizure of musical instruments and amplification equipment.

What You Should Do If You Are Disturbed By Buskers

Firstly, approach the busker and explain politely that you are being troubled by noise.

You may find this difficult, but often people are unaware of the problem they are causing.

Most buskers will be glad to do what they can to reduce the noise level they are generating.

If the problem persists, contact the Environmental Health Department for advice on 01823 356356

Complaints

If you wish to make a complaint about buskers in Taunton town centre or would like to discuss issues relating to buskers please telephone 01823 340475

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