YOUR GUIDE TO BUSKING IN THE CROWN STREET MALL

Wollongong City Council is proud to support busking in the Crown Street Mall that contributes to a vibrant and revitalised Mall and a strong sense of place for the community and other stakeholders.

At the same time, Council aims to foster an environment that encourages and enables a range of busking performances to thrive in the Mall, and at the same to minimise complaints, criticism and other issues relating to the ambience and amenity of the public domain area.

These guidelines meet the objectives of the Crown Street Mall Activity Policy and reflect the five guiding principles that Council refers to in decision-making process to ensure that each application conforms to the Policy and is assessed fairly, consistently and appropriately.

WHAT IS BUSKING?

In the context of the Crown Street Mall Activity Policy, busking is where a donation is sought for street entertainment activities.  ‘Street Entertainment’ is defined as a performance involving playing a musical instrument, singing, giving a recital, conjuring, juggling, puppetry, mime, acrobatics, living sculptures, digital displays or dance acts.

PERMIT TYPES

There are three permit categories for busking in the Crown Street Mall:

Half Day Permit Quarterly Permit Annual Permit
Application Form Application Form Application Form
Permit granted once payment is received and busking conditions have been agreed to Requires a screening process.  Buskers to submit a short example of their act online. Requires approval. Busker to have held a quarterly permit within last 12 months.

PERMIT APPLICATION PROCESS

Application forms can be downloaded at Wollongong City Council’s Website.  Links to forms above.

Applications will be accepted at any time.  Half day applications will be assessed immediately on lodgement.  Quarterly and annual permits will require a two week processing period.

PERMIT APPLICATION ASSESSMENT PROCESS

Wollongong City Council is responsible for effectively and safely managing activities in the Crown Street Mall.    The assessment process takes into consideration the following key principles:

Authentic, Diverse and Engaging:

  • The performance is engaging and buskers are able to draw an audience
  • The performer is skilled in their art form
  • The performer demonstrates a repertoire to ensure a variety of music, songs, etc.

Professionalism and Management:

  • Compliance with performance times
  • Suitability of the performance in relation to the public domain
  • The use of non-domesticated animals will not be permitted as part of a busking performance
  • Group acts are generally limited to four performers

Safety and Accessibility:

  • Attention to general safety – set up, personal safety, audience safety
  • Understanding of potential risk of injury to audience or performer
  • Allow safe access to pedestrians and not block any thoroughfares

Attractive and High Quality:

  • Presentation of performer and neatness of set-up
  • The performer’s equipment is in good working order and sound levels are within acceptable levels
  • Appropriateness of language
  • Performance does not involve any sexually explicit language or simulation of sexual acts.

APPROVAL AND BUSKING PERMIT ISSUE

Once the applicant is successful in obtaining a busking permit and any required fee payments have been made, a permit is issued.  By accepting the permit, the busker agrees to fully comply with all of the terms and conditions identified in these guidelines on the understanding that the permit may be suspended, cancelled or revoked on non-compliance of any condition contained within these guidelines.  Please take the time to read the attached conditions of the busking permit.

Busking permit conditions

PARENTAL CONSENT

We welcome performers of all ages to apply to busk in the Mall, but if you’re under 18, you’ll need to get parental consent before applying. Please download the form below and make sure you attach it to your application.

Parental consent form

BUSKING LOCATIONS

Please refer to Crown Street Mall busking locations map

MAJOR EVENTS

Specific restrictions or blanket prohibition on busking may be imposed during planned major events. Any busking site may move or become temporarily unavailable due to an organised event.  In the case of an organised event, performers should not attempt to associate themselves with that event unless otherwise advised.

COMPLAINTS AND COMPLIANCE

Wollongong Council encourages buskers to adopt a self-regulation of busking activities.  Buskers are encouraged to work co-operatively and take responsibility for managing performance spaces and to solve disputes and complaints on this issue amongst themselves.

Where this approach is unsuccessful, Wollongong City Council will undertake an educational approach by initiating discussions with permit holders to explain the reasons behind permit specifications.  This method of open communication seeks to resolve issues as amicably as possible.

Following a complaint or a report of breach of permit conditions on any of the requirements identified in these guidelines, an authorised officer of Wollongong City Council will visit the site and seek rectification if a breach is identified. Action is initiated according to the breach it has on safety, access and amenity of the area.

CESSATION AND/OR RELOCATION

If, after all reasonable steps have been taken to rectify a complaint, a busker may be requested to cease busking or relocate to another site if the performance is:

  • Loud or intrusive
  • Excessively repetitive
  • Causing inconvenience to the public or retailers
  • Likely to cause harm to the public or property

The busker must immediately comply with such a request which may also result in suspension or cancellation of the permit.

Pursuant to sections 109, 110 and 627 of the Local Government Act 1993, Wollongong City Council may, in certain circumstances, revoke or modify permits if the permit holder fails to comply with the requirements and conditions of the permit.

Need more information?

For busking enquiries in the Crown Street Mall please contact 4227 7778 or email citycentre@wollongong.nsw.gov.au.  Currently half day permits can still be purchased from the IHUB at 93 Crown St Wollongong.

For busking enquiries outside of Crown Street Mall contact Wollongong City Council’s Customer Service 4227 7111.