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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Busking Laws in NC (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

infernal6
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Can anyone tell me the legality of busking in North Carolina or, more particularly, in Gatlinburg, Asheville, and Greensboro? It seems that in places like Gatlinburg one may need a permit, but I have no idea.
Thanks,
/infernal

Oh, and for future reference, where might one look up these laws on one's own?
The Great Zoobini
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Boulder, Colorado
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You can simply call each city hall, and they can tell you their own laws regarding busking and street performing. The problem comes when the police don't know their own laws and give the default response: "You can't do that." Of course, you've your permit or prepared a little copy of their own laws and politely inform them in a friendly, gentle, and informative way. Unfortunately, the very same thing may happen the very next day with another policeman, so you may need to run off a dozen or so. You can even hand these out to other fellow buskers which, in turn, can also distribute them.
Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
infernal6
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I emailed some city halls, but didn't get a response. However, I found some info out online. Maybe this will be helpful to others in the future.

Greensboro requires a permit, and the show has to be sponsored by a "nonprofit organization conducting the exhibition show for charitable, cultural, religious or civic purposes. No sale of arts, crafts or other tangible items shall be permitted."

Asheville, however, does not seem to require a permit and looks to be quite busker friendly. Just don't block traffic, and stay 40 feet away from other performers.

I am still unable to find anything on Gatlinburg, though. Anyone ever worked the strip?

For others, check municode.com to find city ordinances.
Paddy
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I tried to work Gatlinburg, TN, a couple of years ago. Those cops have to hide under the sidewalk! I just started to build a tip and, within 5 minutes, a cop told me that if I didn't quit RIGHT NOW, he was going to confiscate my stuff and put me in jail. I said ,"Yes, sir," and did exactly what he told me to.
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infernal6
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Looks like Asheville may be my only option then. Gatlinburg would seem to be an excellent place, too. What a shame.
The Great Zoobini
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Greensboro seems to be telling you about some sort of "show"...maybe they're thinking you're selling something or in a troupe...especially since a friend practically begged me to come perform there near the university or some such.

I saw street artists drawing portraits in Gatlinburg 10 years ago...but it seems times have changed...still, you haven't heard back...sometimes the laws change back and forth.

I still think Greensboro has a shot...if you used the word "busker" in the email, it may have confused them.

I think you've only really gotten one answer...out of three...keep trying until it's clear.
Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
wolfsong
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Asheville is wide open, no permit needed, but can't use amplifier or block the street. Other than that, you are cool. I have busked here many times, and it is a great place. PM me if you want, and I will show you around if you like.
Doc
dcjames
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I was in Asheville about a month ago, just walking around downtown and shopping. There were street performers all over the place. Singers, violinists, guitarists, jugglers, etc. Some were good, others not so much. But from what I could tell, no one seemed bothered by them at all.
“Magic is very easy to do - poorly.”

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wolfsong
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No we have a wonderful community here and while the talent varies at least they are out there and no real hassles at all
merricksforge
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Asheville, NC
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Actually, in Asheville there are a few hassles. Although, not so much from the police(unless you block a sidewalk or try to work a festival without a permit). We have a lot of homeless people who come through here and set up in groups with trickle hats. Good thing is - they don't know all the good spots. Also, through out the spring/summer season, we have a drum circle on Friday nights. Do Not set up next to them unless you want to scream yourself into an empty hat. One last thing, if you set up in front of a big iron. You should expect to be annoyed by 'R&R'(if you want to know more, just ask Johnny Mystic and Bobby Maverick about 'R&R')
However, if you want info on HOW to busk Asheville. You should look up Tom Hughes or Ken Cowden(but I don't think you'll find Ken on this forum). These Sir are our resident buskers. During the summer I make a few appearances on the street, but I try not to make too much of a habit of it.

Sean Merrick
Psychic Escape
Man has an invincible inclination to allow himself to be deceived and is, as it were, enchanted with happiness when the rhapsodist tells him epic fables as if they were true, or when the actor in the theater acts more royally than any real king. So long as it is able to deceive without injuring, that master of deception, the intellect, is free; it is released from its former slavery and celebrates its Saturnalia. It is never more luxuriant, richer, prouder, more clever and more daring. - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
merricksforge
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...also, something that really gets to me is when I see people trying to give advice to others to help their own self esteem. Inviting others onto a sinking ship causes the ship to sink even faster.
If you feel that you need a tour guide to street performing in Asheville. Contact Tom and/or Kenny. If they blow you off, offer them money. The information they can give you will be invaluble. As it has been to me, because we all know(as far as busking goes) Asheville is an animal of a different color. I have seen it scare others away from busking entirely. I am still waiting to see another Dr. Trinidad show... but I'm not holding my breath.



Sean Merrick
Psychic Escape
Man has an invincible inclination to allow himself to be deceived and is, as it were, enchanted with happiness when the rhapsodist tells him epic fables as if they were true, or when the actor in the theater acts more royally than any real king. So long as it is able to deceive without injuring, that master of deception, the intellect, is free; it is released from its former slavery and celebrates its Saturnalia. It is never more luxuriant, richer, prouder, more clever and more daring. - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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Quote:
On 2008-12-04 19:47, infernal6 wrote:
I emailed some city halls, but didn't get a response. However, I found some info out online. Maybe this will be helpful to others in the future.

Greensboro requires a permit, and the show has to be sponsored by a "nonprofit organization conducting the exhibition show for charitable, cultural, religious or civic purposes. No sale of arts, crafts or other tangible items shall be permitted."

Asheville, however, does not seem to require a permit and looks to be quite busker friendly. Just don't block traffic, and stay 40 feet away from other performers.

I am still unable to find anything on Gatlinburg, though. Anyone ever worked the strip?

For others, check municode.com to find city ordinances.


e-mail gets ignored more often than you would think. Either call and ask for the department of licenses or actually drop by. You'd get a much better response. (Maybe not the one you want... but a better response than an e-mail.)
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
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