Townsville City Council Busking Permit

What is busking?

Busking is the practice of presenting live performances in public places to entertain people. Buskers usually collect donations from their audience. Performances are primarily of a performing arts nature.

Under Subordinate Local Law No. 4 (Local Government Controlled Areas, Facilities and Roads) 2011 busking means a musical or theatrical performance undertaken by a person -

(a) To entertain the public; and

(b) Seeking voluntary reward for the performance.

What is not considered busking?

Council will not issue permits to busk for any person who sells, offers or exposes for sale any article or commodity, or for acts that contain nudity or offensive, derogatory, sexual, racist or generally discriminatory material or inference. Activities such as fire twirling or the use of amplified devices will not be permitted under this permit.

How do I obtain busking approval?

To make it easier for busking to be carried out, Council has created a Busking Permit form. Simply print and complete the form and ensure that you comply with the permit conditions when busking, there are no fees for this permit.

What if I want to use an amplifier or drums?

Application can be made for amplified music or use of drums through Council’s Commercial Permit process*. For more information please contact *Fees may apply.

What laws exist to regulate busking?

Under Council’s Local Law No. 4 (Local Government Controlled Areas, Facilities and Roads) 2011, it is an offence to conduct busking activities on any road in Townsville unless the busker holds a Council permit for that activity.

What conditions apply?

  • A copy of the permit must be carried on the person/s at all times and produced on request to any authorised Council officer.
  • Busking must not be carried out on:
    • Flinders Street between Denham Street and King Street at any time between 3am and 8am; or
    • Any other Council-controlled road between 10pm and 8am.

The use of drums and/or amplified music is prohibited on this permit. For more information or to apply please contact

To ensure that busking does not interfere with the amenity of residents and the interests of commercial operation, the following conditions apply:

  • The person/s carrying out busking activities must ensure that the busking activities do not cause damage to any council property
  • The person/s carrying out busking activities must ensure that the busking activities do not unreasonably interfere with residential amenity or the interests of commercial operators in the vicinity of the busking activity.
  • Obstruction of any Fire Safety installation is strictly prohibited.

Unacceptable behaviour

Council can cancel your busking permit if you do not follow your permit conditions or behave in a way that makes other buskers, members of the public, businesses or residents afraid or uncomfortable. This includes bullying, swearing, vulgarity, inappropriate behaviour or sexual innuendo, nudity or revealing clothing and any physical or verbal harassment.

More information

For further information please contact Council’s Customer Service Centre on 13 48 10.

I have read and agree to these Terms and Conditions. *

Townsville City Council collects and manages personal information in the course of performing its activities, functions and duties. We respect the privacy of the personal information held by us. The way in which council manages personal information is governed by the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld). We are collecting your personal information in accordance with Local Government Act 2009 so that we can assess your application and inform you of the outcome. Generally, we will not disclose your personal information outside of Council unless we are required to do so by law, or unless you have given us your consent to such disclosure.  For further information about how we manage your personal information please see our Information Privacy Policy.