#1
I've heard a variety of things, and people have told me that its legal if you're not taking cash, or if you're over 18, or you're not plugged in to an amp or whatever. Does anyone know the specific restrictions on where you can busk under what conditions?
I'm under 18, but I would be busking with someone who's 18.
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#2
Ever seen the movie August Rush?

He busks and he's in New York. So I'm assuming, but of course it is just a movie....

EDIT: You may as well do it though, it's not like you'll get arrested or anything.
Last edited by ItsOnlyGNR at Jun 7, 2010,
#3
Just do it, people do it all the time. It might be a better idea to do it in the subways, though, seeing as how people have to wait there and have nowhere to go until their subway gets there.
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#4
Is it legal to collect money doing this?
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- Ibanez Acoustic/Electric Guitar
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#5
It's legal if you don't have amplification. If you do have amplification, you need a permit.

I live in NYC, so tell me where you're busking!

and it's legal to collect money. You're not panhandling, after all.
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#6
I wouldn't worry too much about getting in trouble, if it is in fact illegal to collect money from busking. The likelyhood (spelling? **** it) is, even if it isn't legal, all you'd get is a mild telling off, and i'm sure you'll keep whatever money you've made by then anyway. Unless the New York City cops are incredibly enthusiastic about their work and trace the fingerprints on each coin to hand them back to their original owners.

Go for it.
#8
Quote by FrustratedRocka
It's protected by the first amendment, so yes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busking#United_States_law


Thats not what that means. What you linked to means that the content of what they are busking is protected, not the actual act of busking being protected.

EDIT: reread it, it actually protects both.
Last edited by Icehawk217 at Jun 7, 2010,
#9
Thanks to everyone who answered, anyone know any spots specifically? I'm thinking the subways could be a bit iffy.
Breaking stereotypes by playing indie on a metal guitar.

Current Gear
- Epiphone Les Paul Standard (Plus Top)
- Crappy Strat Copy (Redecorated, looks snazzy)
- Ibanez Acoustic/Electric Guitar
- Ibanez RG1570 Mirage Blue
- Peavey Vypyr 30 Watt
#10
Quote by Guitar2theface
Thanks to everyone who answered, anyone know any spots specifically? I'm thinking the subways could be a bit iffy.


If I were you, I would take an acoustic and just go from car to car. Assuming that you get a dollar on average from each car, and one car every 5 minutes, that's about 20 dollars an hour. And you'll make WAY more than a dollar per car.
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#11
Hey, how's it going? I'm in Brooklyn. I used to busk as a living statue, and once I've got a few more songs under my belt on guitar I'll probably start busking again as a musician.

I recommend Union Square, there's musicians busking in the vicinity of the farmer's market all the time. The most important thing is to stay out of the way of pedestrian traffic, although you do want to be in a spot with a lot of people walking by. If you're causing a traffic-jam on the sidewalk, the cops will hassle you, amp or no.

If you're going to busk outside, try using a container for people to throw tips in that won't let the paper money blow away in a breeze, like a glass vase or a bucket. A guitar case looks cool until you have to stop playing and chase your money, with your guitar banging around your legs, as the wind blows it down the sidewalk. Also, throw a few dollars and a little bit of change in there yourself when you start, as "seed money." People are dumbasses and won't realize you're accepting tips unless they can see that someone else has already tipped you, haha.

I'm pretty sure it's okay to amplify your music, as long as it's not above a certain decibel-level. If you really want to research New York City laws and ordinances, call 311, they can usually help answer weird NYC questions regarding rules and regulations.

Walk around the city and make a note of where you see buskers. Places where I see them a lot are Union Square (the subway station and the park), the long tunnel in the subway at 6th Ave. & 14th Street, the South Street Seaport, Central Park, Times Square (the subway station and the actual square), and sometimes Central Park. Don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with a busker when he or she takes a break- if you give them a few dollars, they're usually glad to help out a fellow busker with advice about the law/cops, or picking a location.

If I think of anymore tips, I'll post'em here. Good luck!
#12
In Toronto you need a permit for certain areas, I'm not sure if NYC would be similar.
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