Busking Rules and Application

The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) is responsible for developing Downtown for a better Memphis and Shelby County. The DMC recognizes that buskers contribute positively to the atmosphere of Downtown Memphis and have agreed on a set of busking guidelines in order to minimize any disruption. To ensure smooth operations, all buskers wishing to perform downtown are required to fill out a busking permit linked below.

Buskers must agree to comply with the following regulations:  

  • Buskers are wholly responsible for all claims made against them for personal injury or property damage.
  • Buskers who perform and do not have their own insurance must assume full responsibility. DMC or the City of Memphis does not accept any liability arising from the activity of busking or for any associated equipment.
  • Buskers who have been granted approval may operate between 10 am and 8 pm Sunday‐Thursday and 10 am and 11 pm on Friday and Saturdays. Buskers are permitted to perform on the Main Street Mall, Civic Center Plaza, and Court Square, during these times.
  • Sound performers will be at least one block or 200 feet away from each other and are required to act respectfully and cooperatively with each other. Sound performers (musicians) must be respectful of other forms of busking and are expected to negotiate appropriate distances from non‐sound performances based on the understanding that the sound may infringe on other performances.
  • We ask that sound performers move locations daily, or as requested by the DM.
  • In the interest of self‐regulation, if a busker is located directly beside/opposite of a business/residence and is breaching their permit or causing a nuisance, the busker may be asked to move from the stated location.
  • Permitted Buskers cannot be amplified and should operate at a level so that the sound is not intrusive above background levels to the degree that a passer‐by would have to strain their voice to be heard above the sound. The sound levels from a busking performance shall at no time disrupt businesses or residents.
  • If the noise output generates complaints or is determined to be intrusive, the busker must cease performance immediately.
  • Buskers are responsible for maintaining pedestrian flow and public amenity at all times. They must ensure free and safe access for pedestrians along thoroughfares near the performance site. Wheelchair access must be maintained at all times.
  • Valid ID is required for all buskers.
  • There is NO permit fee – happy busking!!

Before clicking on the application link – please take a photo of your driver’s license, that image will be require during the application process.

Apply for a Busking Permit (Free - No Charge!)