Busking on public land

The undertaking of busking activities on public land owned or managed by Council is guided by Council Policy 8.11.3Approvals and Use of Land Owned or Managed by Council and associated Busking and Spruiking Guidelines.

What is busking?

A busker is considered to be an entertainer who is actively providing a performance in a public place in exchange for a donation. Busking is defined as sounding or playing a musical instrument, singing, giving a recitation or performing, conjuring, juggling, puppetry, miming, entertaining or doing any of these things concurrently. Busking also includes the activity of drawing any message, picture or representation on a pavement, paper or canvas surface of the like. 

What is not considered busking?

The activities listed below are not considered busking under the terms of Council’s guidelines:

  • Vendors of any kind – including glow sticks, flowers, jewellers and other merchandise sellers.
  • Tarot card reading, palmistry and fortune telling.
  • Massage, chiropractic treatment or any other physical manipulation.
  • Face or body painting.
  • Artists selling pre-fabricated work – pavement artists must be actively engaged in producing their artistic medium and not simply selling displayed goods.
  • Temporary tattoo applications.
  • Any like activity.

How to apply

To apply for a Lismore City Council Busking Permit you will need to complete our Busking Application Form. Applications are to be submitted in person at Council’s Corporate Centre, 43 Oliver Avenue, Goonellabah.

Applications are to be supported by:

  • A passport type photo.
  • One of the following forms of proof of identity:
  1. A current Australian driver’s licence.
  2. A student identity/proof of age card.
  3. A current passport.
  4. Another document containing a signature, a recent photograph and date of birth which establishes the person’s identity to the satisfaction of Council.
  • If under the age of 18 years old a parent or guardian is required to complete the consent form.
  • Payment of the application fee nominated within Council’s Fees and Charges.

Special busking activity applications (activities that involve dangerous materials or implements) must be supported by the following additional information:

  • A current first aid certificate.
  • Evidence of holding relevant licences/certificates (i.e. relevant operators certificate, pyrotechnics certificate).
  • Evidence of holding public liability insurance indemnifying Council to the value of $10 million.
  • Evidence of an Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Association (ACAPTA) accredited busking permit (buskers applying for this permit will be assessed by an ACAPTA) or equivalent. Details can be found on the ACAPTA website.

Approval period

Approvals are issued for a 12-month period. Approvals are not transferrable or refundable.


Failure to obtain written approval for the use of land owned or managed by Council or failing to comply with the terms of any approval issued will be responded to in accordance with Council’s adopted Enforcement Policy and associated Compliance and Enforcement Guidelines.