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Busking Guidelines

To busk in Calgary, you need to have a valid busking ID and display it during your entire performance. 

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

Busking locations and times


  • Busking is permitted between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
  • Performances can only occur in public areas.
  • Maximum performance duration is two hours per location.
  • Busking operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Busking on Stephen Avenue requires a permit issued by the Calgary Downtown Association.
  • Busking is not permitted anywhere within the Plus 15 network.
  • Busking performances or audiences must not interfere with pedestrian, cycling or vehicle traffic.
  • Busking in an area where a special event is happening must be approved by the special event permit holder. areas booked for events are subject to the event permit holder’s approval.

Using amplification


Amps must be used responsibly and with respect to the location, flow of foot traffic, and cannot violate the noise bylaws. Please follow these guidelines:

  • Amps are not allowed in parks.
  • For all other locations, 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.

Busking age


  • You must be over 18 years old to busk independently.
  • Buskers who are 16 or 17 years olds need parental consent to busk unsupervised.
  • Buskers under the age of 16 must have an adult accompany them while performing.

Planning your performance


  • Please ensure all performances are 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.

Selling merchandise


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

Busking using a Calgary Transit Busker ID


To busk at a 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.
 

Busking at transit locations

  • Busking is only allowed at the stations listed below.
  • Pick a location where you can visibly see the help phone but are not directly in front of it.
  • Performances are allowed inside the station, unless otherwise stated below. 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.

 

Calgary Transit 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.​​​​​​

Check-in/check-out procedure

When you arrive 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 number to verify. At the end of your session performance, check out with us check out using the same process.

Performances

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