Guide to Street Performance

From brass bands and magicians in Jackson Square to traditional jazz on Royal St—and even hip-hop MCs busking on Frenchmen Street—New Orleans has a famous and long standing history of street performance.  While at first glance this may seem freewheeling and spontaneous, the laws that govern busking in New Orleans are actually complex and often misunderstood.  Typically, neither performers nor enforcement agencies have had a full understanding of the law, leading to misunderstandings, incorrectly issued citations, and, often, loss of income for performers.  

The Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans is extremely proud to present our Guide to New Orleans Street Performance!  Developed in conjunction with the Tina and Albert Small City Center at Tulane, this guide will put a stop to these misunderstandings, and ensure everyone has equal access to fair, accurate and unbiased information.  The Guide to New Orleans Street Performance is intended not just for performers, but also for enforcement agencies, businesses, residents and neighborhood organizations, and draws directly from the existing City Code of Ordinances, clearly explaining the existing law in an attractive and user friendly format.  For example, the Guide clarifies that amplifiers are, in fact, permitted on the street (as long as they follow existing sound limits), and also points out additional rules for performers in place in Jackson Square and the French Market.  We have also included the Street Performer’s Code of Etiquette, which was developed in 1996 by the Coalition to Preserve the Art of Street Entertainment (Co-PASE), a group of New Orleans street performers and allies.  The Guide was vetted and content approved by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy, the City Attorney’s office, civil rights attorneys, and performers themselves.

Download a full pdf version here

Be on the lookout for physical copies in the French Quarter and Marigny!