To play music or to perform entertainment in a public place, usually while money is being received from the public.

Generally, you will not require a specific licence for busking in Lambeth, as long as your activities will not cause a disturbance or a nuisance to any other parties (for example, by blocking footpaths or causing excessive noise). We strongly recommend that buskers hold an appropriate level of public liability insurance, which covers their proposed activities.

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Exemption requirements

Under the entertainment licensing laws, some live music is exempt from the need to be licensed, as long as it is performed incidentally to another non-licensable activity. So, for example, a singer or guitarist playing songs at a tube station, where people have gone to catch trains, will not usually need to obtain an entertainment licence.

Events at which live music is a focal point, or where the music is incidental to a licensable activity, or where there are no non-licensable activities for the music to be incidental to, will require a Temporary event notice.

2. Collecting money for charity or selling any goods

  • You will need to apply for a street collection licence, if you wish to collect money for charity, this is issued by the Metropolitan Police.
  • If you wish to sell any goods such as CD’s you will need to apply for a street trading licence, this is issued by the Streets Team

3. Other legislation

Buskers are not exempt from any requirements of the Environmental Protection Act. Should a busker’s performance lead to complaints of noise nuisance, enforcement action will be taken by the Noise Control team against the busker to abate the nuisance being caused.

Similarly, if a busker is found to be blocking or obstructing a public highway or footpath, they may be moved on by police officers.

4. Public places

  • Permission is needed to busk in any of Lambeth’s parks, open spaces or bandstands. Please contact EventLambeth for more information.
  • If you wish to busk at any of Lambeth’s markets, please contact the Markets Office.

5. Private property

Please note that if you wish to busk in certain, privately owned locations, you will need to obtain permission from the owner or operator of the property before you are allowed to do so. In particular, this includes:

  • Tube stations - contact London Underground
  • Railway stations - contact the National Rail for the relevant train operating companies contact details.
  • The South Bank - contact County Hall Events for areas around the London Eye and County Hall or the South Bank Centre for areas around the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall.