Guidance for Street Performers

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April 19, 2022

Simple guidance for performers to help maintain a happy relationship with those visiting, living in, or working in and around Market Place in Henley-on-Thames

A guide for street performers on Market Place

Henley Town Council and South Oxfordshire District Council do not generally license street performers. However, street performers do have an obligation to observe the law regarding noise, obstruction and antisocial behaviour, and to respect other users of Market Place.
Performers can be asked to reduce the volume of noise (if practicable) or stop on request, if the District Council or the police receive a complaint.

Performers should…

• Check first with the Town Council. The Market Place is used by many people, including cafes and restaurants for seating, events, markets, and hires. Visit us in the Town Hall or call 01491 576982.
• play at a reasonable volume. People live and work nearby and loud music at this popular busking spot can be very distracting and annoying. Music should not be heard beyond 20 metres, and amplification should be used responsibly.
• have plenty of variety in the set. Do not play the same song or beat for long periods of time.
• Ensure they are of a good standard. If in doubt, ask a friend or Town Council staff member to help with a soundcheck for balance and pitch. It may be embarrassing for everyone if you are asked to move on because you are not of a good enough standard.

Performers should not…

• perform if they are under the age of 14.
• perform for more than one hour and should not return for two hours. Particularly noise entertainers (drums, bagpipes) should move on after half an hour.
• obstruct the highway and ensure their audiences do not either. Circus acts must take great care not to put the public at risk of injury.
• perform within 50 metres of another busker and as far away as possible from café / restaurant outdoor seating.
• cause offence or distress to the public including foul language.
• ask for money but can accept donations. A permit may be required from South Oxfordshire District Council for street collections or leafleting.
For further information contact the Town Council at the Town Hall on 01491 576982 or email enquiries@henleytowncouncil.gov.uk
You can download this guidance in full here and read more about our policies, notes and guidance here