- City of Prague Generally Binding Decree No. 1/2016 Coll. on restrictive measures to protect local public order in connection with the operation of public street artistic production in public places (busking) (effective from 1 March 2016),
- buskers are also obliged to observe other valid legislation (e.g. Act No. 113/1985 Coll., on fire protection, as amended, Act No. 13/1997 Coll., on roads, as amended, Act No. 121/2000 Coll., on copyright, as amended).
1) What is public street artistic production?
Public street artistic production (busking) means a live street performance, i.e. produced on the spot, not reproduced from a recording device. The production should be solely performative in nature, with the busker appearing personally in front of the audience and using their own voice, movements or body (plus any potential additional material objects - instruments and props) as a medium.
2) Are public productions involving animals busking?
Public performances by animals are not considered public street artistic productions, being subject to Act No. 246/1992 Coll., on the protection of animals against cruelty, as amended.
A natural or legal person who organises or carries out a public performance with an animal has legally defined obligations, which include notifying the Regional Veterinary Administration and relevant municipality of the place and date of the performance at least 14 days in advance along with the type and number of animals that are to participate in the public performance and information allowing identification of the organiser.
Information on the issue:
Česká inspekce životního prostředí, Oblastní inspektorát Praha (Czech Environmental Inspectorate, Prague Regional Inspectorate), Wolkerova 40/11, Prague 6, phone: 233 066 111, data mailbox ID: 4dkdzty
Státní veterinární správa, Městská veterinární správa v Praze (State Veterinary Administration, Prague Municipal Veterinary Administration), Na Kozačce 3, Prague 2, phone: 222 522 126, data mailbox ID: 8Fm8b8u.
3) Where is it possible to busk?
In open-air public spaces (not, for example, in arcades, metro stations, passages, etc.) where it is not forbidden.
4) Does a busker need a permit to operate public street artistic production?
No, no permit is needed (for activities carried out according to the Decree).
5) Does a busker have to apply for a permit for special use of the road?
If the road is to be used in the standard manner (for most cases of busking the manner of using the road is standard) and the safety and flow of road traffic is not compromised, a permit is not needed.
Information on the issue:
In case of doubt as to whether a permit for special use of the road is needed in a specific case, one should turn to the competent road administration office (for the Prague 1 Municipal District, for example, this is the Prague 1 District Authority, Department of Transport, Prague 1, Vodičkova 18).
6) Restrictions valid for the heritage zone
- acoustic (sound) productions may be operated solely without the use of amplification devices
- it is forbidden to use loud musical instruments (e.g. drums), loud ethnic instruments or other objects used as musical instruments
- it is forbidden to use bagpipes and wind instruments that issue high tones, in particular the piccolo or oboe
- brass and other loud instruments, in particular saxophones, can only be used with a damper where possible
Acoustic productions - all sound productions, generally musical, as well as unaccompanied singing, loud speech, tap dancing, whistling, etc.
Loud musical instruments – loudness must be judged on an individual basis. The perceived intensity of a musical instrument's sound will be different in places where there is loud background noise than in quieter parts of the city.
Ethnic instruments – instruments not generally used in the Czech Republic and associated with a certain ethnicity (e.g. the Egyptian darbuka, Australian didgeridoo, Indonesian djembe, Tibetan bells, African vuvuzela, etc.).
Objects used as musical instruments – garbage cans, barrels, canisters, etc.
Wind instruments - two categories
a) woodwind: e.g. the clarinet, recorder, flute, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, piccolo, English horn
b) brass: e.g. the flugelhorn, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, helicon, alpenhorn
7) Where is busking forbidden?
- on children's playgrounds
- by churches or other places of worship during religious services or immediately before or after such
- by schools (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and school holidays)
- by healthcare facilities
- in the area of boarding islands or separate platforms for public transport
- in Prague 1:
Staroměstské náměstí (Old Town Square)
(in the area defined in the north by the frontage of the Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock, in the west by the building at Staroměstské náměstí 2 and the entrance to Malé náměstí, in the south by the boundary of the buildings at Staroměstské náměstí 29, 21, 25 and 22 and in the east by the connection between the mouth of Železná and the commemorative site of the 27 executed Bohemian nobles (including this site)) - map
- in Prague 2:
Jugoslávská (in the area between the intersection with Legerova and the intersection with Bělehradská
Náměstí I. P. Pavlova
- in Prague 7:
the park on Tusarova, parcel no. 2316/1,2 and 2316/5,6, cadastre area Holešovice.
8) Where is it forbidden to busk in the form of acoustic (sound) production?
In Prague 1:
- Hradčanské náměstí
(the area between the 1st courtyard of Prague Castle, the Archbishop's Palace and the mouth of the streets Ke Hradu and Zámecké schody)
- Jungmannovo náměstí
- Malé náměstí
- Náměstí Republiky
(in the space defined in the north by building number 2090, the connection between houses no. 2090 and 1090, in the west by the frontage of house no. 1090 and its connection with Prašná brána, in the south by the mouth of Na příkopě, the buildings of building no. 3, 1037, the house without a house number adjacent to Hybernská, and in the east by building no. 1031 and the mouth of V celnici (excepting Saturdays and Sundays)) - map
- Na Perštýně
- Na příkopě
- Na můstku
- Ovocný trh
- Týnská ulička
- Václavské náměstí (Wenceslaus Square)
- (in the space between the mouth of Na příkopě and 28. října)
- Zámecké schody
- (in the upper half from the entrance to Hradčanské náměstí up to the building at Zámecké schody no. 10)
- 28. října
It is also forbidden to busk in the form of acoustic production within 25m of places where busking is forbidden in this form.
9) Is it possible to busk in places where there are markets?
It is not. It is forbidden to busk in places where other events are taking place, e.g. gatherings pursuant to Act No. 84/1990 Coll., on the right to assemble, as amended, or Easter and Christmas markets (City of Prague Regulation No. 9/2011, establishing the market code, as amended).
10) During what time can busking be conducted?
Daily from 9:00 to 21:00.
Acoustic productions can be performed:
- at places located on the left bank of the Vltava at the times 9:00-10:00, 11:00-12:00, 13:00-14:00, 15:00-16:00, 17:00-18:00, 19:00-20:00
- at places located on the right bank of the Vltava at the times 10:00-11:00, 12:00-13:00, 14:00-15:00, 16:00-17:00, 18:00-19:00, 20:00-21:00
- on bridges over the Vltava and islands at the same times as on the left bank
11) Which bank of the Vltava is the left and which is the right?
The left and right banks of the Vltava are determined facing in the direction of the river's flow (downstream). A mnemonic device for telling the left bank from the right bank can be used according to well known sites on the given bank corresponding to the Czech words for right (pravý) and left (levý), e.g. - right (pravý): Pařížská, Podolí, Palladium, left (levý): Letenské sady, lanovka (funicular up Petřín), Loreta.
12) What space can be taken up for busking?
- a single busker - no more than 1.5 m2.
- multiple buskers together - no more than 6 m2
- following completion of busking, the objects used for performance (musical instruments, stages, etc.) must be removed from the roadway and may only be placed on the roadway for the duration of the performance. As the operator is no longer covered by the Decree once the performance has finished, if these objects remain on the roadway they should have a permit from the competent road administration body.
- if the operator would like to take up a larger space than stipulated, they should turn to the competent road administration body (see point 5)
13) What is the punishment for violating the Decree?
Violation of the Decree could entail liability for a misdemeanour against public order in the territorial unit jurisdiction according to the provisions of Section 46 (2) of Act No. 200/1990 Coll., on misdemeanours, as amended, for which a fine of up to CZK 30 000 can be imposed along with a prohibition of stay.
Other public order misdemeanours in state administration jurisdiction and public order misdemeanours in territorial unit jurisdiction
(1) A misdemeanour includes violation of other obligations than those stated in Sections 21 to 45 if laid down by special legislation, including regulations of municipalities, district authorities and regions.
(2) Public order misdemeanours on matters of local jurisdiction include obligations laid down in generally binding decrees of municipalities and regions issued in their area of jurisdiction.
(3) For a misdemeanour pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 2, a fine of up to CZK 30 000 can be issued and for a misdemeanour pursuant to paragraph 2 a prohibition of stay can be issued along with a fine.