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Busking in Lincoln

Busking can have a positive effect on the city of Lincoln, bringing vibrancy and energy to the city centre atmosphere. Please be aware of the Code of Conduct if you would like to busk in Lincoln.

  • Steep Hill Busker

What is Busking?

Busking usually involves singing or dancing or other performing in a public place, with the intention of people who are there giving money for the performance. 

There is no need for a license to busk in Lincoln but the City of Lincoln Council, the Lincolnshire Police and Lincoln Business Improvement Group have produced a Code of Conduct and require all buskers to abide by the Code.

Sometimes busking forms part of a city centre event. To see which events you could get involved with, please visit our 'Get Involved' page.

Why have a Code of Conduct?

Busking can become intrusive and annoying for people who live or work in the town centre, or even those visiting.  Usually this is as a result of loud, continuous or repetitive noise.  For shoppers, deliveries and the Emergency Services there is also the possibility of the highway being obstructed.

What if the Code of Conduct isn’t complied with?

If buskers are causing a noise nuisance, the council will take enforcement action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The police also have powers where they consider a public nuisance, obstruction or anti-social behaviour is being caused.

What’s wrong with Busking?

Nothing is wrong with busking if it is done responsibly and without causing a nuisance or an obstruction.  Busking can contribute to a lively and interesting City Centre but we require that all buskers abide by this simple code of conduct.

The Code of Conduct:

  1. Noise (for example music or voice) should not be so loud that it can be plainly heard beyond the immediate audience.  Drumming should only be included as a minor part of the act.
  2. An entertainer should have consideration for people who live, work and visit the locality and limit the length and volume of their performance accordingly.
  3. We recommend that each performance should last no longer than 20 minutes with a break of at least 30 minutes thereafter.
  4. An entertainer should not locate within earshot of another entertainer who is already performing. Please be aware that individual buildings or areas may/will be sensitive at certain times of the day or year.
  5. An entertainer should not obstruct the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles on the highway (this includes pavements and pedestrianised areas), or allow an audience to do so. Access should be kept clear for example to shops, cycle-stands and bus-stops.  The blind, partially sighted and less able bodied people may not be expecting to come across an obstruction on the pavement.
  6. Use should not be made of street furniture such as, lamp-posts, seats and bins.  Proper use of public telephones should not be prevented, either because of noise or obstruction.
  7. No sign inviting payment may be displayed. If you wish to sell copies of your musical performance as ancillary to the busking you will require a license from Lincoln City Council on 01522 873564​ or
  8. It is advised that Public Liability Insurance be obtained for all performers.
  9. The appearance and quality of an act or performance should demonstrate a positive intention to entertain passers-by, not to solicit money through sympathy.
  10. An entertainer should immediately stop performing when required to do so by a police officer or council official.


For more information with regards to busking, or to report a case when the Code of Conduct is not being complied with, contact the oranisations below:

  • City of Lincoln Council: 01522 873564
  • Lincolnshire Police: 101
  • Lincoln Business Improvement Group: 01522 842701