Change to busking rules

By Sakshi Agrawal

The City of Melbourne has introduced new busking regulations under which buskers need to publicly audition for a three-year “premium” permit for the Bourke St Mall.

The first live auditions were held on April 10, when about a third of the 23 hopefuls failed to make the grade.

Six of the 23 were existing permit holders, but only four were successful.  The two unsuccessful candidates will be allowed to continue until the end of the year.

The council’s Street Trading Team Leader Hugh Kilgower told residents’ group East Enders: “It was amazing to actually have auditions out there in the mall versus in the council house. It was a totally different environment.”

Mr Kilgower said the council was able to train and educate the buskers regarding appropriate sound levels. Under the new regulations, Bourke St Mall buskers need to re-audition every three years and live auditions will be held quarterly. 

“Ones who have a premium permit (or Bourke St Mall permit) can go through re-audition,” Mr Kilgower said.

Bourke St Mall-accredited buskers go into a weekly draw for the opportunity to perform in the mall. 

Additionally, street performers such tattoo artists, caricatures and other art performers have been reclassified and will require a street trading permit in the future. 

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