View our accessibility package Skip to the Main Content

Busking Rules and Regulations

As Harbourfront Centre continues to monitor the COVID-19 public health emergency, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 outdoor Summer Festival season, originally set to run from June 1 to September 7. While we work to support the Government of Ontario’s roadmap for reopening the province, we are exploring ways to safely bring you the stimulating arts programming you’ve come to expect during these challenging times.


License will be issued to the Licensee upon full payment of License Fee of $15.00 per two week period (HST included) or $50 for an annual period. There is a Merchandising Fee of $15 where applicable by the Licensee. License and Merchandising Fees are non-refundable.

Signing In

Licensee must sign in at the Security Desk each time he/she arrives on site and follow the designated procedures for reserving a pitch, appropriate to their specific license. Signing in is proof of Licensee’s attendance, which may be taken into consideration for acceptance in the subsequent year(s).


Sound levels are limited to a 65 decibel level; this limitation is for both amplified and non-amplified acts. The exception to this rule is on ”C“ pitches, where sound levels are permitted to 75 decibels. These decibel limits may be changed at any time by Harbourfront Centre and if ever a performer is requested by a Harbourfront Centre Security or a staff member to reduce their sound level, that request supersedes these sound level policies.


The use of any electrical equipment must be applied for and approved by Harbourfront Centre. The Harbourfront Centre Busker Program has a strict no generator or strobe light policy.


Performances cannot contain any explicitly profane, insulting or obscene language, nor should it aim to discriminate against any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or mental or physical disability.

Costume/Dress Code

Performers must present themselves in a professional manner that reflects the appearance they presented and were approved for in the Busker Application. Changes to costumes or overall look must be communicated to Harbourfront Centre for approval, and will not be unreasonably denied.

Busking Hours

Busking on site is permitted from 9am until 11pm inclusive. Busking after 11pm may result in the revoking of a licensee’s permit. Busking hours may change depending on other Harbourfront Centre programming, location and sound curfew.


It is mandatory that ALL BUSKERS secure Commercial General Liability Insurance for at least $2 million per occurrence and is suggested for all performers. Harbourfront Centre should be named as an Additional Insured.

Code of Conduct

Performers must abide by the following code of conduct:

  • To treat other licensed buskers with dignity and respect.
  • To display his/her photo identification permit, supplied by Harbourfront Centre, in a clearly visible manner at all times while performing on site.
  • Not to assign or transfer this License.
  • Not to aggressively solicit or interfere in any unwanted way with Harbourfront Centre’s visitors.

Home  \  Who We Are  \  Submissions & Partnerships  \  Busker Rules and Regulations