Amplification of Sound in Public Spaces – Busking

Closed 31 Aug 2023

Opened 9 May 2023

Feedback updated 2 Oct 2023

We asked

We asked

For your views of the impact, both positive and negative, that busking in Edinburgh has on you.

You said

The survey

Told us that the majority are supportive of buskers and liked to hear them around the City, but are not OK with very loud buskers, or buskers performing the same thing, in the same place, for a long time.

We did

We did

We are using your feedback and comments with the aim to better manage busking. The report ‘Amplification of Sound in Public Places’, including a summary report of the survey, is considered at Culture and Communities Committee on 5 October 2023. You can see the report, Item 7.1 here:


We would like your views if you are an Edinburgh resident or business, and are directly affected by busking.

By 'directly affected', we mean if you hear buskers from your home, place of work or business, or when you are going about your normal business.

Edinburgh welcomes buskers and street entertainers who liven up our city and who follow the Council's advice to do so at a considerate volume, so passers-by can hear but nearby residents, businesses and workers are not unduly disturbed.

This survey is seeking an understanding of the impact, both positive and negative, that busking has on you. It will help the Council’s Culture and Communities Committee make a decision on whether it needs additional powers to manage busking, by seeking a Byelaw. It will make a decision following this survey, and after the summer recess.


For this survey, busking is defined as a performance of music or song in a public space. Some performers do this purely for fun, while others do it in the hope of making some money from donations from the public. The term busking has been used in the UK since the 1860s to describe street performers.

Busking is an important part of many performers’ lives. It can be a lifelong career – and it can also be a space to develop audiences, hone skills, and try out new material.

Busking Locations

The place where a performance occurs is called a "pitch". A good pitch can be the key to success as a busker. An act that might make money at one place and time may not work at all in another setting. Popular pitches tend to be public places with large volumes of pedestrian traffic, high visibility, low background noise and as few elements of interference as possible.

Popular locations for buskers in Edinburgh include:

  • High Street/Royal Mile
  • Grassmarket
  • Lawnmarket/Castlehill
  • Rose Street
  • Princes Street
  • Cowgate

Why your views matter

We would like to hear from you, if you are directly affected by busking, so we can better understand the impact, both positive and negative, that busking has on you.

The findings from this survey will be reported to the Culture and Communities Committee in October 2023 and will help making a decision on whether additional powers are needed to manage busking, by seeking a Byelaw.


  • All Areas


  • Businesses
  • Residents


  • Noise
  • Arts and culture