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The legalities of Street Performance

When the busking rules don't apply to you

All public authorities have routinely broken the law when they imposed restrictions on street performers. In every case they have excluded & restricted disabled performers rights in their policies. They have discriminated against disabled musicians with street performance codes licensing and guides that do not allow for adaptations or differences for disabled musicians. In not a single case has a public authority ever conceded that disabled performers even exist. This resulted in one disabled performer suffering spinal injuries due to Westminster City Council not considering disabled performers in their policies. Or they did and thought it to expensive to comply with the law.

You may not be disabled, but you may have a qualifying disability and your public authority may have discriminated against you. You may be entitled to compensation so get in touch because in my experience the only way to make public authorities behave is through their pockets. Even if that means councillor sequestration.

In these pages are the guidelines and rules about performing in the streets as a disabled musician that public authorities are by law supposed to inform all disabled performers. So I am instead. I have been described as a trouble maker by public authorities because I uncovered their discrimination. It is a badge I ware with honour.

1) If you have a disability that prevents you as a street musician from performing using an acoustic instrument, meaning you can only use an amplified instrument due to your disability, then unless that public authority has fully complied with the Disability Discrimination act, to date none have, you are not obliged to adhere to that rule, or indeed possibly any of that public authority rules with respect to a disabled street performer.

You will know if they have complied because you can refer them to me and Ill get back to you. None have so far.


You get a severe sore throat after your second dose of Covid, just like me. It leaves you with a permanent sore throat that means your voice is effected and you are unable to sing ether properly or loudly enough without being amplified. 

Under the Disability Discrimination Act if your job is as a singer then you have a disability under the act and the "no amplification" rules do not apply to you.

A public authority that had any regard for people with disabilities would have already placed this information on their website. It's not up to you, the legal weight is on the public authorities shoulders to inform you of these facts. But as I explain. Public Authorities lie all the time if it serves them even if it means they brake the law and discriminate, even assault and abuse a person with a qualifying disability.


In one of the image above I am busking in my wheelchair beside the Thames and my specially adapted transparent Saxophone is being amplified.

This is because at the time my condition had spread to my lungs meaning I could not blow hard enough to make enough sound to be heard even a few feet away.

The amplifier was no louder than I could play normally if I played acoustically. So any rules about amplification are in fact meaningless anyway. It doesn't matter if I use an amplifier or not if the amplifier is no louder than if I performed acoustically. You don't have to prove anything to anybody, especially a private untrained security guard. So if an untrained security guard askes you to stop, consider that harassment even assault and call the police.

There is much on this site about the conduct of private security guards employed by public authorities to police disabled performers. When they attempt to do so in almost every case they brake the law as they have no training and become immediately liable for the catastrophe that can occur such as when a disabled performer was told by a security guard he must perform in a spot that was unsafe for the performer. The performer is now in a wheelchair.

If a security guard talks to you as a disabled performer hand him/her the notice available on this site and if he/she wont leave you alone, it may well be assault, so call 999 immediately. Contact me so we can help arrange legal representation BUT ALWAYS FILM EVERYTHING. Without video footage there is no case. Click here...........

If a security guard had asked you to stop without recourse to your disability, (Security guards have no legal authority or right to ask you any information about your disability what so ever under any circumstance), or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, (Security guards are not trained in DDA95 so should not be going there,) they may well have committed the crime of assault. Remember always film all interaction with anyone, security or police.

There may even be a case that no street performance restrictions of any kind are in fact lawful in the UK because public authorities have been wilfully ignoring the law with respect to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Remember public authorities lie all the time. Just because they tell you something don't think its true, it very often isn't.

Even Manchester City Council lied in the information they gave to all street performers. All public authorities that seek to restrict freedoms need a REALLY good reason to do so. And they cannot lie in order to do that. When they do they loose all credibility and should not expect anyone to believe anything they ever say again.

Having a qualifying disability does not mean your are disabled. You don't have to be disabled to have a qualifying disability. A council security guard/bouncer knows nothing of this, but now you do. so any attempt from a security guard to even broach the subject of your disability is without doubt harassment so must be filmed and a prosecution started.

As soon as you state you have a qualifying disability security staff should immediately back away. Harassing and assaulting disabled street performers is not within their remit.

Before you make any decisions please read ALL the information about disabled street performing on this site first.

2) If a public authority demands you have a PRS copyright licence to receive a busking licence and you don’t, and they refuse you a licence without you having a PRS licence, then you are not bound by any rules in that licence.

There are many situations when you do not need any PRS or copyright performance licence when street performing, using music when performing music live or playing recorded music, disabled or not. Remember public authorities routinely lie.


What you must do

You must make this offer first.

You must tell them why you don’t need a PRS licence and request they remove that clause and any associated clauses from the licence or you cannot legally agree to all the clauses in the licence and therefore you cannot get the licence so are not bound by the licence.



A circus performer during his act only uses backing tracks purchased from a backing track business with the appropriate attached buyouts such as “Karaoke Version”. You have already paid for the licence and right to use them in public and as you don’t use any other form of music you are under no legal obligation to buy a PRS licence.


You are an opera singer and all your material is out of copyright and the baking tracks you use are pre-paid rights. So you own the rights to use them and don’t require a PRS licence. See page on Copyright for buskers here……


This goes for any clause in the licence. If they wont remove that clause, then you cannot purchase the licence because by receiving the licence you are by default agreeing to abide by all the clauses in the licence, and if you legally cant, or don’t have to, then you are under no legal obligation to do so.

If by agreeing to one rule means by default you are agreeing to all the rules and that one rule does not apply to you, then as long as you notify the council, none of the rules apply to you. 

If you are disabled or have a qualifying disability none of the busking rules in the UK within any public authority apply to you anyway. Click Here.......

My understanding is that the restrictions placed on street performers during the Edinburgh festival fringe has no authority over disabled performers as the fringe did not refer to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and so cannot be enforced. As a disabled street performer I will be informing them in advance and will be performing on the Royal Mile without any recourse to the rules as they directly discriminate against disabled performers. I cant afford to take them to court but they can arrest all the disabled performers this year so they can then take themselves to court.

If any of their security people even address me in anyway, they may quite possibly be guilty of assault. This is serious stuff. Life changing injuries have accrued. Public authorities may be facing multi million pound compensation claims because they wilfully broke the law.

Why should any disabled performer put up with wilful law braking by public bodies that seek to impose restrictions on my freedom and right to busk and brake the law them selves.

Public authorities lie all the time. The courts let them get away with it because they are all strapped for cash and if the occasional lie gets them where they need to be, and it doesn’t necessary hurt anyone then why not. EXCCEPT

I am now using a wheelchair because WCC lied. So what else did they lie about.​

3) Voluntary agreements

These are voluntary so you can voluntarily agree to any all some or none of the clauses in the voluntary agreement.

4) Busking guidelines agreed with a third party organisation

Unless that organisation has legal experts in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, or copyright experts on staff they are open to legal action. By them making an agreement with a public authority and want me to abide by that agreement then they need some good lawyers because they may also be liable for a disabled street performer ending up in a wheelchair. Be warned. To make or deliver busking codes of conduct, unless you have the lawyers insurance and legal knowledge to back up what you are seeking to impose in disabled performers, you may end up in court.


Due to money constraints and the fact that public authority funds come directly from the tax payer or public purse, including insurance premiums, the courts are reluctant to insist public authorities make big compensation pay-outs when they loose a case. That’s why nobody gets to take councils to court for tripping over and braking their leg on a crooked paving stone any more.

But this also means when a public authority wilfully flouts the law, and then disaster ensues, the courts will hammer them hard. Public authorities get a lot of slack from the courts but not when they are truly deliberately and wilfully negligent.


So don’t take what any public authority tells you as necessary the truth. They know they can lie about a lot of stuff. If your income for you and your family relies on a public authority abiding by the law, then don’t be afraid to challenge them. They work for you not themselves.


Public authorities should be spending their time and money on housing families that are homeless. People that need dental care. Home care visits for disabled people etc. Spending time resources and money trying to get away with flouting the law for any reason is I believe a wilful waste of public money that can end badly for councils.

If you have experienced any discrimination while performing, get in touch. Click Here.......

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