The London Borough of Harrow and Harrow Business Improvement District (BID) have of guidelines for buskers. This helps the buskers, the public, and businesses in Harrow Town Centre share the town for the benefit of all. We want to make Harrow a vibrant and fun place to visit. However not to the detriment of businesses, or causing annoyance to residents and pedestrians.
To busk in Harrow Town Centre you need to apply for a licence. The town centre includes:
- St Anns Road
- Station Road
- College Road
- Havelock Place
- St Johns Road
- Lyon Road.
Licences are currently free. They can be booked for 2-hour slots between 10am and 4pm. The final performance must end no later than 6pm.
Where to busk
There are two designated busking pitches:
- St Anns Road, opposite The Royal Oak: 86 St Anns Road, Harrow HA1 1JP
- St Anns Road, under the tree opposite Card Factory: 32 St Anns Road, Harrow HA1 1LQ
Make sure that wherever you set up there is room for people to walk past unobstructed. You must make space for wheelchairs, prams and the visually impaired. If your audience blocks a doorway, market stall, pavement, or access to a shop please stop and clear the blockage. If you do not, you could be charged with obstruction under the Highways Acts (1980).
Your performance will have an impact on people nearby. Please be aware of this and be willing to leave or adjust your performance if necessary. Please don’t cause offence or humiliation.
The biggest cause of complaints around busking is the level of sound. Sound can travel a long way and go high into the air. Harrow Town Centre is surrounded by flats, shops, and offices which can cause sound to reverberate and reach higher levels. Because the people inside can’t walk away, please make sure your volume doesn't bother them. For this reason amplifiers must not be used. Don’t repeat music in the same location as it's likely to cause nuisance and annoyance to those nearby. Acts with varied content are much more popular.
Make sure no-one can trip over your equipment, and never leave any instruments or belongings unattended. Please keep the pitch clean and tidy-up afterwards, taking litter home with you.
Performers can accept donations, but the public must never feel obliged to pay. You can give away CDs or other items, but you cannot charge a fee for them. To sell items for a fee you need a Street Trading Licence. If you are collecting for charity you'll need a permit.
Apply for a busking licence
You must apply for your licence one week in advance (seven calendar days). Send your application to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following:
- Your full name
- The date you wish to perform
- The time slot you require (slots are 2-hours, starting at 10am/12pm/2pm/4pm)
- Which pitch you would like
- Your phone number
You cannot book more than one month in advance. If there is availability for the slot you requested a licence will be issued. If it's not available you will be offered an alternative. You will not be permitted to book two adjacent time slots, and only allowed to perform once a day at any spot.
You must show your licence to staff from the following organisations if they ask to see it:
- London Borough of Harrow
- Harrow BID
- LAS Enforcement officers
Anyone performing in a non-designated area will be asked to move, and they may be fined. Alternatively they may get a Community Protection Notice under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014).
Additionally, failure to follow the rules will also result in your licence being revoked. Furthermore you may receive a fine and a temporary or permanent ban from performing in the town centre.
If you have any further questions please email email@example.com