What is busking? 

We categorise ‘busking’ as any performance in public for the purpose of receiving voluntary contributions from members of the public. Busking is an important part of creating a vibrant, exciting and cultural atmosphere for residents, visitors and businesses in Gravesend. We encourage busking and we want to welcome a broad range of buskers from across the community. However, there have been on occasion complaints regarding amplified busking, repetitive busking and/or obstructions to highways/access points.

Two buskers standing with instruments

These busking guidelines set clear rules for buskers to follow to ensure busking can be conducted lawfully to enhance Gravesend Town Centre without generating complaints. Any behaviour which is deemed to be unreasonable will be investigated and may result in enforcement action. Breaches may result in the council invoking Community Protection Warning. 

Please do:

  • Only perform in areas not disturbing local businesses or the public
  • Entertain the public
  • Be responsible for ensuring that persons gathering to watch or listen do not obstruct the highway.
  • Entertain between 10am and 7pm
  • Take regular performance breaks
  • Protect yourselves by taking out Public Liability Insurance
  • Listen to comments & complaints and make reasonable adjustments.

Please do not:

  • Use main or generator power for amplification.
  • Use any street furniture in your act.
  • Make too much noise
  • Busk for more than 45 mins in any one place.
  • Obstruct the Highway (road, pavement or pedestrianised area).
  • Block access to shops, offices, residences, fire exits, or other amenities such as cash machines or phone boxes.
  • Busk within 30 metres of another busker or group of buskers.
  • Perform in a manner that is dangerous to any person.
  • Act in a way, or say something that is likely to cause offence to a member of the public.

Community Protection Notice

Whilst we aim to enhance and promote entertainment in town, if a Busker fails to cooperate, we have the powers of Community Protection Enforcement The Community Protection Notice (CPN) is part of the
Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It can be issued to anyone over the age of 16 to deal with a wide range of ongoing anti-social behaviour issues or nuisances which are having a detrimental
effect on the community’s quality of life by targeting those responsible.

  1. Written warning
  2. Community protection notice. If you fail to adhere to the actions outlined in the Community Protection Warning, a Community Protection Notice (CPN) can be issued to you.
  3. Breach of Community Protection Notice. Failure to comply with a Community Protection Notice is a criminal offence. Where an individual, business or organisation fails to comply with the terms of a Community Protection Notice, a number of options are available including Fixed Penalty Notices.

What is a pedlar?

A pedlar is someone who travels and trades on foot, going from town to town or house to house selling goods or offering their skills in handicrafts. A pedlar must hold a certificate granted by the Police.

  • A pedlar is a pedestrian with a trolley of goods 
  • A pedlar trades whilst travelling rather than travelling to trade 
  • A pedlar goes to customers rather than them going to him/her
  • A pedlar can remain static in the same location for a maximum of 20 minutes after arrival. You should then move on (at a reasonable speed) to a location which is at least 50 metres away from the first location, and again not remain in that second location for more than 20 minutes without returning to the original location. These requirements are intended to keep a pedlar trading while on the move.
  • A pedlar cannot set up a stall and wait for people to approach 
  • It is an offence to illegally street trade 
  • Breaches may result in the Council invoking Community Protection Warnings/Notices.