Let’s talk today about busking in the German world, which means Germany, Austria and Switzerland (sorry, I will not be talking about german minorities from Hungary, Czech republic, Romania or Serbia…).
Germany : it seems that there’s no particular regulation as far as I know (maybe I’m wrong !), but what I can say is that you should never busk in front of a bank or a jewellery. You’ll get kicked off by security staff even before you start playing ! ;) I had this experience in Ulm.
Ulm, next to the Cathedral.
The other thing I know from my own experience : don’t expect to earn much money from busking in Germany ! It is a very different atmosphere compared to Greece (for example), my feeling (maybe wrong) is that people look somewhat anxious !
Switzerland : Rather complicated, each city has its own rules. You may generally be supposed to ask a permission from local authorities, to pay around 70CHF for their agreement, plus around 7CHF per busking day. Beware ! Unless you know tips from experienced buskers, for example “wild” busking is allowed in Basel after 7pm !
Austria : When no regulation (Salzburg), you’ll be competing with local gipsies. People obviously fed up wouldn’t even notice your presence !
A different situation in Innsbruck, where people may be quite sensitive, unless you perform in the main touristic street (Herzog-Friedrich straBe), full of Asian tourist, they won’t drop you a single Euro (I tried ;)), maybe unless you play major-scaled accordion dressed up in a Tyrolean traditional costume !
A good busking place in Innsbruck. You can see the entrance of the touristic area at the other end of the square, that you should definitely avoid for busking ;) !
Let’s point out something else : I have nothing against Tyrolean music, its major scales and its highly non-modal structure (1) ! I can prove it, we found a pub with a session inside with local musicians :
Graz : They have special regulations. The police was extremely friendly and gave me this brochure, specially dedicated to buskers ! Thanks to local authorities for their extreme devotion toward buskers :) ! Everything you should know !
Busking regulation in Graz – Austria
Rules are simple, just get a free authorisation from Town Hall, and you can play in the whole pink area from 11 to 14 and 15 to 21 (is 13 the nap time ?), you have to switch place every 30 minutes…
Graz (Austria) – The main square.
(1) According to me, breton music and kurdish music for instance, are much closely connected than Breton and Fado, or Breton and Tyrolean music, which are TRUE western music ;) !