Busking & Pedlars

Busking in West Somerset

There is no licence required to busk or perform street entertainment in West Somerset.

Busking and other forms of street entertainment can create an enhanced atmosphere and provide pleasure to many people, both local residents and visitors.

To help buskers and entertainers and to avoid complaints, a code of practice has been introduced. Following the code of practice will help buskers/entertainers to stay on the right side of the law.

The Code of Practice is available to download under related documents.


On occasions busking may be intrusive, annoying or disturbing, particularly for people living or working in town centres. As a result both the Council and the Police can receive complaints about the volume and sometimes the nature of busking and street entertainment, and about obstruction to the highway caused by gathering crowds.

The Law

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, noise in the street from musical instruments may be a statutory nuisance and the Local Authority is able to take legal action to abate the nuisance and prohibit or restrict its recurrence; this may include the seizure of musical instruments and amplification equipment.

What You Should Do If You Are Disturbed By Buskers

Firstly, approach the busker and explain politely that you are being troubled by noise.

You may find this difficult, but often people are unaware of the problem they are causing.

Most buskers will be glad to do what they can to reduce the noise level they are generating.

If the problem persists, contact the Environmental Health Department for advice on 01643 703704


A pedlar is someone who travels and trades on *foot, going from town to town or house to house selling goods such as pictures, duster and household goods, or offering their skills in handicrafts. A pedlar must hold a certificate granted by a chief constable. The certificate is valid for one year and applies throughout the United Kingdom. Certificates cannot be issued to people under the age of 17.

A person legitimately trading under a Pedlar's Certificate from the Police may also trade in a street on a limited basis, provided they abide by the following rules:

  • A pedlar is a pedestrian
  • A pedlar trades whilst travelling rather than travelling to trade
  • A pedlar goes to customers rather than allowing them to come to the pedlar
  • A pedlar is a seller rather than a mender
  • A pedlar must not remain stationary for long periods of time
  • A pedlar must not set up a stall and wait for people to approach – pushing a wheeled trolley is not acceptable.

*   A pedlar must conduct his activities on foot both when travelling and trading.

To apply for a pedlar's certificate, contact your local police station. Someone who acts as a pedlar without a certificate commits an offence.


If you wish to make a complaint about buskers or pedlars in West Somerset or would like to discuss issues relating to buskers please telephone:

 01643 703704 during office hours