Share this page Print

Busking Guidelines

To busk within Calgary, you need to have a valid busking ID and have it displayed during your entire performance. In addition, you must adhere to the guidelines on this page. If you are busking using a Calgary Transit Busker ID you must follow additional guidelines.

For information on obtaining your busking ID, payment, and how to connect with us, please visit Calgary.ca/busking.

Busking age

  • You must be over 18 years old to busk independently.
  • 16 or 17 years olds need parental consent to busk unsupervised.
  • Buskers under the age of 16 must have a responsible adult accompanying them at all times while performing.

Planning your performance

When you are deciding what you will do while busking, you should remember:

  • All performances must be suitable for a general family audience.
  • No high-risk or unsafe performances are permitted. This includes anything that could put the public or the performer at risk, such as using knives or fire.
  • Consideration must be given for other acts performing in close proximity.

Using amplification

Amps must be used responsibly and with respect to the location, flow of foot traffic, and cannot violate the noise bylaws. You should also remember:

  • Amplification is not allowed in parks.
  • Small, portable amps that are battery powered are preferred.
  • If complaints are received, or a bylaw officer determines the amplification level is too loud, it can result in the removal of your busking ID.

Selling merchandise

You are permitted to sell recordings of your own performance and you can display them in your instrument case. Sale of other forms of merchandise is not permitted.

Busking locations and times

  • Busking operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Maximum performance duration is two hours per location.
  • Performances are only permitted in public areas.
  • Busking can occur between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
  • Performances in parks may only take place while the park is open to the public.
  • No busking where your performance or audience are blocking pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
  • Busking in areas booked for events are subject to the event permit holder’s approval.

Suggested busking locations in Calgary

  • Stephen Avenue Walk/Barclay Mall - The Stephen Avenue Walk runs along Eighth Avenue from First Street S.E. to Fourth Street S.W. Busking along the Barclay Mall on Third Street is also permitted.
  • Kensington - Kensington is a vibrant and eclectic community located at 10 Street and Kensington Road N.W. that makes a perfect busking spot for someone with an unconventional act.
  • Other business areas - Fourth Street, Inglewood, Bowness, Montgomery, International Avenue, Chinatown and Victoria Park.
  • Calgary parks - Calgary parks are available for busking including; Olympic Plaza, Tomkins Park, Century Gardens and the Riverfront Promenade along Riverfront Avenue.

Busking using a Calgary Transit Busker ID

To busk at the permitted Calgary Transit Stations you must have a valid Calgary Transit Busker ID and have it displayed during your performance. You must follow the above general busking guidelines as well as the Calgary Transit specific guidelines below.

When you arrive

Upon arriving at a station, pick up the emergency phone or push the “Help” button and let us know that you are performing. You will be asked your name and permit number to verify. At the end of your session, check out with us using the same process.

Performances

  • Volumes must be kept at a level to allow customers to hear station announcements and converse at normal talking levels.
  • Only musical busking acts are allowed in permitted Calgary Transit stations.

Busking at transit locations

  • Pick a location where you can visibly see the help phone but not directly in front of it.
  • Performances are allowed inside the station, unless otherwise stated at Calgary.ca/busking.
  • Performances cannot block the flow of pedestrian traffic.
  • No performances are permitted on platforms, walkways, overpasses or stairs leading up to the station.
  • Busking at transit stops or in transit vehicles is not allowed.

Buskers may be asked to leave certain Calgary Transit Stations due to facility maintenance or other major events such as a Calgary Flames game or a concert. Failure to comply may result in busking privileges being revoked.

Calgary Transit permitted busking locations

  • 69 Street Station - main level only
  • Anderson Station
  • Brentwood Station
  • Bridgeland Station
  • Canyon Meadows Station
  • Chinook Station – plaza only
  • Crowfoot Station
  • Dalhousie Station
  • Erlton Station *see restrictions below
  • Fish Creek–Lacombe Station
  • Franklin Station
  • Heritage Station
  • Marlborough Station
  • McKnight–Westwinds Station - plaza only
  • Rundle Station
  • SAIT/ACAD/Jubilee Station
  • Somerset–Bridlewood Station - plaza only
  • Southland Station
  • Sunalta Station - main level only
  • Tuscany Station
  • University Station
  • Victoria Park/Stampede Station *see restrictions below
  • Westbrook Station - main level only
  • Whitehorn Station

*Absolutely no performances are permitted on or around Erlton and Victoria Park/Stampede Stations during the Calgary Stampede. These areas include the platform, walkways, overpasses and stairs leading up to the station. This restriction also applies on Sneak-A-Peak day.