Busking at The Rocks

All the info you need on how to show off your talents at The Rocks.
Busking at The Rocks

At The Rocks, we encourage opportunities for performances that add to the colour and vibrancy of the public domain, including buskers who contribute entertainment and thought-provoking experiences for visitors.

Busking permits are issued to make sure we have a diverse range of acts that are safe and benefit our unique precincts.

Busking during the COVID outbreak

Before applying for a busking permit, make sure your act complies with the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Busking Policy.

Apply for a permit
View the below details and resources on applying for a busking permit at The Rocks.
  • Current Public Liability Insurance Certificate of $10M (Property New South Wales as an interested party)
  • Proof of identification
  • Parental consent (if under 18 years of age)
  • A Visa or Mastercard for payment of the $20 administration fee
  • A recent standard size facial photo
  • Buskers wishing to perform using dangerous materials at the sites covered by this policy are required to hold
  • a current City of Sydney Special Busking Permit (please refer to cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au) or
  • the ACAPTA P.A.S.S. (Peer Assessment for Street Safety) issued by ACAPTA Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association (www.acapta.org.au)

Apply now

When can I busk?
The Rocks Buskers are permitted to operate in areas covered by the policy between of 8am and 9pm in Circular Quay, excluding CQ3 and CQ4 which operate from 10am to 9pm. The Rocks imposes a two hour period on all busking pitches. There is no busking on New Year’s Eve, Australia Day or in locations effected by special events or activities. The Rocks imposes a two hour period on all busking pitches. Restrictions may be placed on busking pitches when special events or activations are programmed in the area.

Can I busk at The Rocks Market?
Busking at The Rocks Market is by invitation only and if you think your musical act is a good fit for the market please call Alissa Bruce for a trial booking on (02) 9240 8542.

Can we get one permit and work as a group?
Community groups such as youth associations, church groups, schools, dance or band groups where enrolment or registration is required can apply for a Group Permit. The group will be covered by the Public Liability Insurance of the community group or association. The cost of this permit will also be $20 which will cover the group. A group leader/delegate will apply and sign for this permit and will be the responsible delegate. This delegate must be present when the group is busking. The group permit may only be used for group performances and may not be used by members performing as individuals. Children under 18 years old performing as part of the group are required to have completed the parental consent form as part this application.

How do I apply for the permit?
You can apply online through this website.

Can I sell my CD?
Buskers can only sell digital recordings of their own performance and music and advertise the sale of their CDs and DVDs by way of an A4 sign. The sale of other items or other performers recordings is prohibited. When buskers accept the terms of conditions of the busking policy, they also accept these terms and conditions.

Can I book or reserve a busking pitch?
Pitches are not allowed to be booked or reserved. If buskers are prepared to do so, they are permitted to wait at an occupied pitch until the current busker’s two hours expires, at which time there should be a changeover of performer. To perform at the Aboriginal Busking Site, performers must hold a busking permit and be able to be identified as Aboriginal with accreditation from Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council. Performing at The Rocks Market and special events is by invitation only and will only be offered to current permit holders.

How long can I busk for?
The Rocks encourages buskers to consider their operating environment and the impact each busking activity has on its immediate surrounds. In order to promote a variety of artistic expression as well as avoid repetitive activity, the Authority imposes a two hour period on all busking pitches. Special Busking Sites with Circle Acts are limited to 45 minute performances without repetition.

Information for buskers (2.54 Mb)
A brief outline of policy and code of conduct

Busking Parental Consent Form (236 Kb)
Busking Parental Consent Form for buskers under 18 years of age

Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Busking Policy 2012 (5.08 Mb)
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Busking Policy 2012

The Rocks Busking Map 2020
Map of pitches in Circular Quay and The Rocks