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Ensuring high quality busking acts through a fair and level playing field

Response to parliamentary question on whether a simplified busking audition can be implemented for buskers who are renewing their busking cards as compared to fresh applicants.

  1. The National Arts Council (NAC) Busking Scheme aims to enliven our city life and energise urban spaces. Today, there are more than 70 designated busking locations island-wide and over 300 licensed buskers performing a variety of art forms such as music, street theatre and the visual arts. Reflecting a vibrant diversity, the licensed buskers include group and individual performers of different ages and various levels of experience, as well as persons with disabilities.
  2. Through live auditions, NAC seeks to provide a fair and level playing field for applicants to enter and remain on the busking scheme and to ensure that buskers are evaluated fairly. The live audition format allows for a robust evaluation of a busker’s in-person performance, which takes into account the busker’s responsiveness to situations and ability to engage audiences in real-time. Such evaluations have helped ensure the quality of busking performances in our public spaces. With four auditions held in a year, buskers have the flexibility to choose from the different available slots and dates based on their schedules.
  3. NAC regularly reviews the busking scheme and seeks feedback from the busking community. NAC is currently studying the feasibility of simplifying the renewal process for buskers with good track records. For instance, by conducting online auditions or reviewing submitted video recordings – while at the same time ensuring that the quality of busking acts and the fairness of the audition process are not compromised.
  4. Meanwhile, NAC will continue to conduct live auditions for new and aspiring buskers and keep this avenue open for buskers who are less digitally savvy. 
  5. NAC will engage and consult stakeholders from the larger busking community on the feasibility of the new ideas and gather their views on the design and implementation.
Last updated on 09 May 2023