APR 2024

Busking 101: Busking on Hollywood

Welcome Class! Today, we’re going to be talking about Busking!

But Rody, What is Busking?

Great question, imaginary audience surrogate! 

Thank you.

Busking is when you perform on the sidewalk or another public place and sometimes for public donations. This year busking near Fringe Central by Hollywood Blvd is a real possibility. Here are the questions we’ll be asking today: Can busking take place on Hollywood Blvd? How can busking occur safely? Busking Etiquette? So let’s get started!

Can busking take place on Hollywood Blvd?

Yes! There is currently no permit process in place to busk on Hollywood Blvd. However, every location is different. Locations like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Burbank do require permits.

Currently, various sources site busking culture alive and well, however, the most helpful resource was the Los Angeles Municipal Code! The Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec 42.00 Regulation of Soliciting and Sales in Streets Section A states that…

”Perform, Performing, Performance or Performances" shall mean to engage in any of the following activities in the street: playing musical instruments; singing; dancing; acting; pantomiming; puppeteering; juggling; reciting; engaging in magic; creating visual art in its entirety; presenting or enacting a play, work of music, work of art, physical or mental feat, or other constitutionally protected entertainment or form of expression.


Handing out Flyers after/while Busking

Within that same section (Code Sec 42.00: Section B, Subsection A) it says that leaflets, pamphlets, bumper stickers, patches, and or/buttons are allowed to be handed out! This means that after or during your busking session you’d be able to hand out flyers/postcards to promote your show! Clothing, sunglasses, crystals, toys, and candles are not allowed. Also please keep in mind that vending (selling or bartering goods) within 500-feet of the Hollywood Walk of Fame is prohibited. (Sec 42.13 Sidewalk and Park Vending Program, Section C, Subsection B).



Oh! And here’s a cool little fact! Sec 42.00 also goes on to say that voluntary contributions such as passing around a hat or leaving an open instrument case (or any other container) is perfectly fine, and ain’t that just dandy.

Head up! The following is not allowed and not protected: personal services (such as massages, hair weaving, cutting, or styling), the completion or partial creation of visual art, the creation of mass-produced visual art, and the creation of handcrafts.


Be Aware of Your Volume

It is also important to know that in the Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 112.06 Places of Public Entertainment details that no music/noise should generate sound louder than 95 decibels in any place of public performance. For reference, the CDC states that  95 decibels of volume is like being next to a motorcycle engine, please do not be louder than a motorcycle engine. Let’s always remember to be courteous to our neighbors! 


Hurdy-gurdy Players Beware

Just to cover our bases, Sec. 41.29 Hand Organs On Streets states that 

"No person shall operate or play any hand organ or hurdy-gurdy in, upon, or along any street or sidewalk.

My sincere condolences to the Hurdy-gurdy community, fight the good fight— but please do so at home.


How can busking occur safely? Busking Etiquette? 

We want to keep everybody safe so here are some starting tips to ensure we’re all having a great time.

    • Do not block the free flow of pedestrians, be conscious of a crowd you may create. This also means not busking by a crossway or a building entrance/exit.
    • If possible, try and occupy no more than 5 square feet of space.
    • Be aware of your volume levels (remember not to be louder than 95 decibels).
    • No more busking after 10pm.

Want some additional structure to your busking adventure? Sign-Up to our Google Form!


We’re happy to host busking sessions to Fringers where you can sign up for 20-minute slots from two to six pm on Saturdays and Sundays starting May 18th and carrying on into June! Just follow the link to the Google form, fill it out with all the information and we’ll get back to ya. Easy as pie! Link to Sign Ups: https://forms.gle/T2fQrgqWyb4jCivT9 


Also if you do want to be able to accept donations and want to do so digitally, please bring your own printed flyer (ex. You print out a document with your Venmo QR code). If you sign up via the google form, we’ll be able to set you up with a time slot to busk.


One Last Thing…



Lastly, I wanted to leave you with this from the Los Angeles Municipal Code Sec. 42.00 Regulation of Soliciting and Sales in Streets Section B subsection 3


Performers can perform.

I just thought that was kinda beautiful, Happy Fringing everyone.

- Rody, Hollywood Fringe Artist Services Associate