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Street performance and busking licence

Wellington's buskers and street performers help make our city a vibrant place to live. With our free licence, you can become a part of our talented busking community.

Apply now

Applying for a busking licence

Completely free and easy to get, a street performance and busking licence is valid for one year and allows you to show off your talents around the city.

Just tell us about your busking in our online application form and in many cases, you'll be emailed a licence straightaway. 

We’ll need to review your application before issuing your licence if:

  • you perform in a group
  • you use dangerous materials or objects
  • you’re a loud act, for example, if you use an amplifier or percussion.

If your act involves dangerous materials or objects, we recommend public liability insurance.

If you are under 12 years old, you'll need consent from a parent or guardian. We recommend that street performers under the age of 12 are always supervised by an adult.

Examples of busking

Here are a few examples of busking that would need a licence:

  • Musicians, singers and poets
  • Dance and drama
  • Magicians, clowns, puppeteers and circus acts
  • Visual artists, such as painters, mimes and statues

Acts with animals or fireworks are not considered busking and will not be approved for a licence.

If you’re unsure about needing a licence for your act, get in touch with our Street Activities team – email streetactivites@wcc.govt.nz or call 04 499 4444.

Busking hours and locations

You’re allowed to busk for up to 90 minutes, per location, per day. This includes the performance, breaks, and set up and pack down times.

You can busk anywhere around Wellington. See the various hours:

Location Busking permitted between
Most of Wellington 7am–9pm, Monday to Sunday
Wellington Train Station subway
7am–8pm, Monday to Sunday
Wellington Train Station forecourt (in front of the station)
7am–9pm, Monday to Sunday and
9pm–3am, Fridays and Saturdays

Courtenay Place (between Cambridge Terrace to Taranaki Street)

7am–9pm, Monday to Sunday and
9pm–3am, Fridays and Saturdays
Cuba Mall (between Manners Street to Dixon Street)
7am–9pm, Monday to Sunday and
9pm–3am, Fridays and Saturdays

Being considerate

Wellington is for everyone. Please be mindful of how your busking impacts businesses, nearby residents, and members of the public.

Be careful where you set up. Don't block pedestrian access, footpaths, car parks, crossings, bus stops, doorways, fire escapes and shop entrances during business hours. Make sure there is wheelchair access around your performance area.

Before you start busking, think about how you'll respond to requests from businesses or the public. Be respectful if someone approaches you about your performance.

If your act is immediately outside a retail premises and you’re asked by the retailer to move on, you must do so.

When there are events and activities, you may need to find another location. When asked, please follow requests from our staff and security guards.

Guidelines and conditions

A full list of guidelines for busking and performing is included with your licence. Please refer to it when you're planning your busking.

The conditions for busking and performing are laid out in the Trading and Events in Public Places Policy.

Contact us

If you have any questions, contact the Street Activities team.

Street Activities
Wellington City Council

Phone: 04 499 4444

Email: street.activities@wcc.govt.nz

Postal address: PO Box 2199
Wellington 6140