Council issues two types of Busking Permits – an Initial Permit and a Standard Permit.
An Initial Permit is for four weeks (unless otherwise stated) and will be issued if:
- The busker has not had a permit before
- The busking activity is a *Category A activity such as:
- Playing a musical instrument
- Other acts of a similar nature
- The busking activity is to be carried out at a pre-approved location within the Cairns CBD (link to CBD map)
There is no requirement to audition.
*Category A activities are all activities not covered in Category B
A Standard Permit is for 12 months (unless otherwise stated) and will be issued if:
- The busker has previously had an initial permit and wishes to continue busking
- The busking activity is a Category B activity:
- Includes the use of dangerous materials or instruments;
- Balance, juggling or circle acts
- Pavement art performances
- Involves use of percussion or noisy instruments
- The proposed busking location is not a pre-approved locations in the Cairns CBD
Buskers are required to audition before being granted a Standard Permit. You will be advised of your audition time when you lodge your application.
How to apply
Fill in a Busking Permit Application Form ( PDF, 0.18 MB ) and submit it, in person, to Council at the Cairns Regional Council Esplanade Office between 9am and noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The Esplanade office is at 52-54 The Esplanade.
Council does not issue group permits: each member of the group must submit an individual application form.
Applicants are encouraged to read the Best Practice Management Policy for Busking ( PDF, 0.44 MB ) before completing their application.
What to bring
You will need photo identification that has your signature, a recent photograph and your date of birth, such as a drivers licence, passport, or student ID card. If your documents are not in English, such as an overseas drivers licence, you must also bring a full English translation of the document.
If you are under 16, you will require signed consent from a parent or guardian.
There is no fee to obtain a Busking Permit in Cairns.