Busking in New Orleans

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.


3 responses to “Busking in New Orleans

  1. Wow, you don’t even have to buy a license? I think I may just head down there next winter. Sure would be busking during a Chicago winter!!!


  2. I mean “beat” not “be”


  3. Nope, no permit was required in many areas in and around the French Quarter. But things might be different on some streets – not just around Jackson Square. When I lived in New Orleans twenty years ago, only a few performers (rumored to have political connections) received permits to busk along Bourbon Street.

    Incidentally, I’ve busked quite a few times at Five Points in Atlanta and in Old Town Alexandria (VA) without any sort of permit, too.


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