I just saw Purton Hupp down in New Orleans, and he gave me the inside scoop on the rules regarding busking there. Apparently, he learned them the hard way, as usual. In short, you can busk just about anywhere in the French Quarter – except Jackson Square – until something like 11 pm. You can busk along the Moonwalk by the mighty Mississip, too. Buskers do not need a permit.
But the rules are different around Jackson Square. Apparently, you have to stop by 8 pm there, lest you disturb the residents’ slumbers. And here’s the real drawback: unlike buskers, the ‘artists’ (aka painters) have to pay for permits, so they have protected their investment by getting rules passed that restrict buskers in that area. Buskers have to set up at least twenty feet from the fence and cannot block any entrance.