Buskers should consider their surroundings when performing, says council

Buskers are a familiar sight on Canterbury's streets (stock image)

Buskers must be aware of their surroundings when performing in central Canterbury, says the city council.

The authority has drawn up guidance for performers as well as for businesses and members of the public who encounter problems with buskers.

It says that the council recognises that busking “is an important part of our district’s cultural life [which] adds colour and vibrancy to our public places and provides enjoyment for residents, visitors and businesses”.

But it urges buskers to consider how their performances will affect others going about their day.

“Take care not to obstruct highways or shop entrances and to allow plenty of space for people to walk past you,” the guide warns.

“Be aware of the time of day and nature of the space you intend to perform in and be prepared to change location if your act is unsuitable for that space on a given day.”

The guide asks buskers not disrupt other acts using public spaces and even to notify nearby businesses about any impending performances.

Canterbury’s most prominent street performing locations include Rose Square, The Longmarket, next to the former Nason’s department store, The Buttermarket and outside Lloyd’s Bank on the corner of the High Street and St Margaret’s Street.

The council’s guide also provides advice for itself, residents and businesses in tackling issues arising from busking.

It says: “If there is a busker in the vicinity of your place of work or residence and they are causing a disturbance, you are advised to make yourself known to them and calmly and politely explain the issue.

“In the majority of cases they may not be aware that they have caused you an issue and will want to resolve it quickly and amicably.

“This could include adjusting their volume, location or relocating to another pitch if necessary. When approaching a busker to discuss their work, it is important to wait for a suitable interval in the performance before introducing yourself to them. Interrupting performances is unlikely to lead to a productive dialogue.”

A discussion about busking will take place at the next meeting of the council’s Canterbury Forum.

Labour group leader Cllr Alan Baldock has also asked members to discuss the issue of skateboarding on city streets.

The Canterbury Forum meets in St. Peter’s Methodist Church Hall, St Peter’s Street, at 7pm on Monday, November 19. The meeting is open to members of the public.


  1. Yes, many performers are far too loud. They should be required to perform at a volume which reaches the people immediately around them and cannot be heard halfway down the next street.


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