Busking in Columbia Resources

Hello Buskers! So you may have seen our emails or checked out our posts about Busking around town. Well, check out this page to catch up on all the latest happenings for buskers.

Make Music Day 2019. Photo courtesy of One Columbia for Arts and Culture

Make Music Day 2016. Photo courtesy of One Columbia for Arts and Culture

“A Busker is a person who performs in public areas; accepts donations from the public; and has obtained a permit pursuant to the ordinance.

"Perform" includes, but is not limited to the following activities; acting, singing, playing musical instruments, pantomime, juggling, magic, dancing, reading, puppetry, sidewalk art and reciting. Buskers shall not offer items for sale but they may offer items in exchange for a donation.”

Make Music Day 2016. Photo courtesy of One Columbia for Arts and Culture

Buskers are a vital part of our burgeoning arts community. Artistic performances enliven our growing entertainment districts while further cementing the creative community we have in our city. So if you're a Busker looking for events and spaces to perform, check out this page for the happenings in town!

Getting Permits

 Permits can be obtained from the City of Columbia Business License Division located at 1339 Main Street (first floor) between 8:30am and 5pm Monday through Friday. 

$15 annually (from date of issuance) — $2.50 daily (up to 3 consecutive days) — $5 for replacements 

 The Regulations 

  • Permits are required and must be on display during the performance 
  • Each member of a performance group is required to have an individual busker permit 
  • Keep at least 50ft of space between you and your fellow buskers and street performers 
  • Busking hours - 9am - 10pm, but low noise or no noise activities can take place between 10pm-12am at least 100ft from any residential units or hotels 
  • Clean up after yourself 
  • Signs requesting donations are allowed, but must be smaller than 12in by 18in and cannot contain advertising 
  • Selling things is not permitted, but goods can be offered in exchange for donations 
  • Set up at least 100ft away from schools, libraries, hospitals, funeral homes, or churches while in session 
  • Stay in the public areas — public sidewalks and parks 
  • Avoid obstructing sidewalks, doorways, roadways and/or driveways and leave at least 5ft open on the sidewalk in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act 
  • Fire, projectiles, animals, knives or megaphones can’t be used in your performance unless the performance is connected to a city-authorized street festival and with the express permission of the organizer. Police or fire marshal personnel must be on site for street performances that involve dangerous materials or objects. 
  • Don’t drink on the job or perform intoxicated. 

Additional Busking Information

Information on Busking in Columbia (pdf)
Application (pdf)
Ordinance (detailed rules and requirements)
City of Columbia Licenses and Permits

 The full text of the busking ordinance (2012-057) is available here: https://bit.ly/2mDekna


Opportunities for Buskers

If you're a licensed busker, looking for opportunities to perform. Here are a few opportunities happening this fall. Some opportunities may be limited, if you have any questions, feel free email One Columbia atinfo@onecolumbiasc.com


Soda City Market
Main Street
Every Saturday (location may change due weather) | Soda City market welcomes buskers to perform during the market at no cost. If you're a licensed busker, this is a great opportunity to come out and share your musical talents with your fellow neighbors. Here are the guidelines for buskers if they're planning to perform.

  1. Performers with curated and prepared sets are welcome to perform.
  2. Acoustic performances are permitted. All electronic and amplified sound requires Soda City Market's official approval under strictly enforced and controlled parameters. Click here for more info.
  3. Perform appropriate material for a family environment.
  4. Perform at a volume that is respectful to market vendors, customers, and fellow buskers.
  5. Carry your City of Columbia Busking License (see "Getting Permits" section above for more information.)
  6. If a Soda City vendor kindly requests for you to relocate for any particular reason, we ask that you respect their wishes in a professional manner.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Soda City at hello@sodacitysc.com

Rosewood Market & Deli
Rosewood
Dates on an ongoing basis | The Rosewood Market & Deli is interested in having Buskers perform during their future events. The market occasionally hosts yoga classes, wine tasting events, 20% off days and pop ups with small business in the community. Interested buskers should email Jessica Gonçalves, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator for Rosewood Market & Deli.
community@rosewoodmarket.com

Vista Lights
Vista
Thursday, November 21 5:00 - 10:00 p.m. | To usher in the holiday season, the Congaree Vista Guild hosts Vista Lights, the neighborhood's signature holiday open house. Festival attendees get to mix and mingle, and check out some of the Vista's shops and galleries that are open late for this one night. While buskers are welcome to participate, please reach out to us to confirm availability of this Busking opportunity.
Send email titled "Interest in Busking for Vista Lights" to info@onecolumbiasc.com

Coming soon: Busking at Comet Central Station
Sumter Street
Starting in late Fall | In collaboration with the Comet (Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority), buskers are welcome to perform during specific hours at the Comet Central on Sumter Street. As of right now much of this program is still in construction. More information will be coming soon as we reach the later part of Fall. If you're interested in the program and want to know more feel free to reach out to us. 
Send email titled "Interest in Busking for Comet Central" to info@onecolumbiasc.com

sidebar_publicart

sidebar_artomat

Artsopolis Network Members: Akron OH | Albuquerque NM | Austin TX | Birmingham AL | Boston MA | Cape Cod MA | Charlotte NC | Cincinnati OH | Colorado Springs CO | Columbia SC | DuPage County IL | Flagstaff AZ | Flint MI | Fort Lauderdale FL | Houston TX | Indianapolis IN | Kalamazoo MI | Macon GA | Marin County CA | Mendocino County CA | Milwaukee WI | Monterey Bay CA | Montgomery County MD | Napa Valley CA | Nashville TN | Orange County CA | Orlando FL | Palm Beach County FL | Panama City FL | Providence RI | Quito, Ecuador | Rapid City SD | Richardson TX | Riverside CA | Rock Island IL | Sacramento CA | San Antonio TX | San Jose CA | St. Cloud MN | St. Croix Valley MN/WI | St. Johns County FL | Stillwater MN | Tallahassee FL | Tampa Bay FL | Utah | Ventura CA | York County PA