Busking permits

Council issues two types of Busking Permits – an Initial Permit and a Standard Permit.

Initial 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
    • Dancing
    • Singing
    • Puppetry
    • Mime
    • 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)

Buskers are required to audition before being granted an Initial Permit. You will be advised of your audition time when you lodge your application.

*Category A activities are all activities not covered in Category B

Standard Permit

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 ( DOC, 0.43 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, 0.7 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.

If you are conducting a performance that includes dangerous materials or noisy instruments you must provide a Public Liability Insurance Certificate in the amount of $20 million.

Fees

There is no fee to obtain a Busking Permit in Cairns.

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Last updated: 23 November 2018