Hastings Buskers’ Code of Practice

Hastings Buskers’ Code of Practice

Hastings busking code

The code of practice (below) has been written to try and control and improve street entertainment in Hastings Town Centre. It is a voluntary agreement as it is perfectly legal for people to perform in public places – however, we hope to be able to use it to ensure people keep the noise down, co-operate with each other, and keep to appropriate spaces.

We actively encourage good quality street entertainers in Hastings – so much so that we look to book people who we think are good enough, and we are prepared to cover reasonable travel and food expenses for performers who have to come from some distance away.

For more details of this offer please contact office@lovehastings.com

We firmly believe high streets and town centres should be vibrant spaces and full of variety – however, at the same time it’s important that everyone’s needs are respected.

This is why we have drawn up this code as a means of ensuring that shoppers and visitors are treated to a good range of suitable entertainment but that people working in offices and shops are not disturbed, and – importantly – that everyone remains safe from harm.

The Code

Be as good as you can be

Quality matters:

Although not everyone will agree what makes a great performance please remember that when you are performing in public people don’t have any choice but to watch or listen to you. Don’t use the high street as a rehearsal room. Practice your show at home and only hit the streets when you are confident in your ability to entertain.

Family friendly please:

Remember your audience is made up of the old and the young alike. Please don’t include content that is liable to cause offence or could upset passers by.

Mind your language
Assess the risks first

Stay safe and insured

Whether your show is just you and a guitar or you are magician, juggler, acrobat or storyteller think about what might go wrong and put things in place to stop anyone getting hurt. A simple risk assessment is important before you think about performing in public. Do you have cables people could trip over, does your act involve members of the public and if so is there anything that could injure them? Assess how likely the hazard is, how much impact it might have, and what you can do to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Write all this down and follow your own guidance.

Once you have done this we strongly recommend you take out appropriate insurance just in case something still goes wrong (*see notes below). There are plenty of affordable Public Liability Insurance products available and this will give you the peace of mind you need.  

Not too long, not too loud, not too much of the same thing

No matter how good you are don’t perform too long in the same place as this can become annoying for those working nearby. Also, try to ensure your act is varied. This is particularly important for musicians and singers as nobody wants to hear the same song six times in an hour. Also, remember that your audience are the people 20 metres away – not 200. A small amount of amplification is acceptable, but this shouldn’t be excessive. 

As a guide we request you follow these rules:

  1. Keep your performance to less than an hour in any one place.
  2. Don’t perform the same song more than twice in any one set.
  3. Keep your volume down to a minimum – no more than 89Db (peak) when measured from 20 metres away)
Keep it down and keep people happy
Don’t compete – co-operate

One at a time and in the right place

There is nothing more annoying than two musicians battling for attention. If someone else is already performing nearby be considerate and wait for them to finish. You can politely show them this code and remind them of the one-hour rule.

Please also recognise that some places are more appropriate than others to be making a lot of noise or attracting big crowds…so avoid disturbing people in offices above shops and don’t perform in areas where you could block pavements.

We will look to publish a map showing where the best spots are and what times are appropriate to perform in them. This will be available here once this code has been signed off.

Respect authority

If you are asked to stop, turn down the volume, or move to another location by anyone from town centre management, a warden or police officer please comply with their requests.

We understand you have the right to perform on public land, however, if there is a good reason why someone wants you to turn things down or off please take their advice.

You should also respect the views and opinions of nearby shop staff, and if someone tells you they find your performance annoying please consider packing up and moving elsewhere.

We’re here to help…

[* Even if you have been asked to perform by a third party (including events where a fee is paid) it is still your responsibility to have insurance in place to cover yourself in the case of a claim. If you are booked to play by us (Love Hastings Ltd) we will ask to see a copy of this insurance before confirming the booking. If you choose to perform on public land of your own accord without suitable insurance you will be solely liable for any claims against you.]