Some of the frequently asked questions about busking are:-
- Should I give money to buskers? Note this link DOES work the answer is just below you.
- Do I need a licence to busk in Bath?
- Will busking bring me fame, fortune and success with the gender of my choice?
- What really annoys buskers?
- Bath - where is it anyway?
- How do I get a pitch in Bath?
- Is amplification really against the rules?
Should I give money to buskers?
Yes of course you should, if you like what they are doing. People sometimes think that because busking is fun, there is no need to pay buskers for doing it. However plenty of people in other occupations enjoy their work and still expect to be paid for doing it.
And busking is work. It can take years of practice to become a good musician or street perfomer. If they can't make money out of it, the most talented will look for other ways of making money, and only the really bad buskers will remain. If you want to see good quality street entertainment, show your appreciation by giving what you can.
Remember buskers are not paid by the council or any other organisation. They rely on your generosity. And it is appreciated.
Do I need a licence to busk in Bath?
There is no licensing system in Bath. The council gives general permission to performers to busk in Bath, provided they follow the Code of Practice.
Will busking bring me fame, fortune and success with the gender of my choice?
What really annoys buskers?
Almost everything actually, but some of the main things are:-
- People who sit and listen for half an hour then walk off without paying.
- Groups of noisy schoolchildren.
- Other buskers who set up too close - it's pointless and irritating.
Bath - where is it anyway?
It's in the South West of England, quite near to Bristol, although we hardly ever go there.
Bath is quite easy to get to from London, just drive along the M4, although I like to get off the motorway around Reading, and take the A4, it's much more scenic.
Alternatively it takes about an hour and a half on the train from Paddington. For information on train times try National Rail Enquiries or Traveline Southwest.
Also see our links page for more information on Bath sites.
How do I get a pitch in Bath?
This link provides information about how to get a pitch in Bath.
Is amplification really against the rules?
Yes it is. However the rules seemed to be enforced quite randomly by the council. Some people do seem to be able to get away with amplification some of the time. If you are really loud you will probably get moved on quite quickly though, and the council do have the power to seize your equipment.
Some buskers feel that this ruling is quite arbitrary, because someone using a bit of discrete amplification for an acoustic guitar (for example) might be making far less noise than someone playing the drums or bagpipes. However Bath is a small place, and most buskers probably do not actually need amplification anyway. The fact remains that it is officially banned.
This is what the Guild of Bath Buskers Say:-
- Amplification equipment is ABSOLUTELY not allowed.
- Since the meetings held with the council last summer, the Bath Guild of Buskers has been charged with self-regulating busking in Bath. Final authority still lies with the Bath Environmental Health officers and police however. If complaints are received, they have the power to move buskers on and/or seize their equipment.
- Therefore, buskers making too much noise will automatically be banned from the busking meetings (since they threaten the livelihood of all the other buskers) and will no longer be able to bid for the principal busking pitches in Bath.
- DO NOT play in the same spot for more than 1 hour. DO NOT return to a previous spot for at least two hours.
- DO NOT set up next to, or near to other buskers, if you can hear them, you're too close, find another spot or wait for them to finish.
- KEEP YOUR NOISE LEVEL DOWN!
- These rules might seem authoritarian, but a number of buskers obviously think Bath is their personal stage, it isn't. This isn't a question of how good you are, you might be a virtuoso, but the rules still apply to you. The council are happy with us providing a musical ambience for people, but not to the extent that we disturb local residents or businesses. Failure to comply with this code of conduct will result in all of us losing the privilege to busk freely in Bath. Folks, it's up to you not to break the peace.