Busking in Parks

The City of Kirkland recognizes the life, color and interest that buskers bring to a public space. Therefore, to balance the needs of park users, neighbors of parks and the busking community, the City of Kirkland has established a busking permit process, allowing approved buskers to perform at designated parks.

The annual permit fee is $150 and is valid through December 31 of the year it was issued. Busking is currently allowed in designated areas at Juanita Beach Park and Marina Park with a two-hour time limit at any location. 

Busking Rules

In addition to the rules below, buskers must also follow ordinances in the Kirkland Municipal Code, including section 11.85 on busking.

  1. A busking permit is required to busk in select Kirkland parks. 
    • Buskers must wear or display their permit at all times while performing, so they can be easily identified as a permitted busker.
    • Annual Permit fee: $150
    • Permits are valid until December 31st of the year for which they are designated.
  2. Busking is only allowed at designated locations at select parks. Designated locations are posted on the Busking in Parks website.
    • Designated locations were selected to reduce conflict between buskers, park users, and those people who live or work near the park.
    • Busking locations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
    • Buskers shall not perform for longer than two (2) hours at any location. The time begins to count when a Busker initially occupies the busking location.
    • To allow for other buskers to access busking locations, upon completion of a two (2) hour set, buskers must vacate the location for at least one (1) hour prior to beginning a new performance at the same location.
    • Buskers are not allowed to hold a location by leaving equipment in place before or after a performance.
    • Requests for additional locations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Busking is only allowed during the times indicated for each designated busking location.
    • Busking hours may vary by location or time of year.
    • Busking is not allowed during permitted special events, unless written authorization is granted by the event organizer.
  4. No busker may generate noise that can be heard fifty (50) feet or more from the source.
    • A permitted busker may use amplification as long as the 50-foot sound limit is not exceeded.
    • The use of prerecorded music is prohibited, except as backup accompaniment to a live performance. All prerecorded music shall be turned off when not actively performing.
  5. Busking is limited to no more than five (5) people in a group.
  6. Donations may be accepted; however, no commercial sales are allowed.
    • Contributions may be received in any receptacle.
  7. No busker shall prevent the public from utilizing any public benches, waste receptacles or other street furniture during the performance.
    • A busker may occupy a park bench during a performance and not be in violation of this rule.
    • Buskers are not permitted to move or relocate any park equipment including but not limited to benches, picnic tables, waste receptacles, etc.
  8. No busker shall not obstruct sidewalks or pathways or set up in the middle of a sidewalk or pathway. Buskers are to remain at designated locations.
  9. No busker shall use profane, obscene, or lewd language or imagery while performing.
  10. No busker shall use any knife, sword, torch, flame, axe, saw or other object that can cause serious bodily injury to any person.
  11. The use of park power outlets or portable generators is prohibited. Any electronic devices used as a part of a busking performance must be self-powered.
  12. Buskers shall not ask or allow any observer, bystander, or audience member to engage in any activity that can cause serious bodily injury to any person, including, but not limited to, acrobatics, tumbling, or cycling.
  13. Buskers must obey all local, state, and federal laws and must comply with police officer directives to ensure public safety.
  14. Buskers must follow all park rules and must comply with Parks and Community Services’ staff directives.
  15. A busking permit may be suspended, revoked, or denied based on repeated violations of park rules, if it is discovered a permit application contained false information, or violations of any other park rule(s). In extreme cases, a busker may be trespassed from park(s) for up to one (1) year. The Director shall provide written notice to affected parties within thirty (30) days.

Designated Busking Locations and Hours

Busking is allowed at Juanita Beach Park and Marina Park, in the designated areas only, as shown below. The blue x shows the specific location where a busker may perform. The yellow circle shows the 50-foot space beyond which sound the busker generates may not travel. Busking hours are 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. for each location. Hours are subject to change. 

Requests for additional locations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

Approved Juanita Beach Park Busking Location.jpgApproved Marina Park Busking Location.jpg

Report a Busking Violation

To report a busking violation, please call Kirkland Police's non-emergency reporting number: 425-577-5656

Apply for a Busking Permit

To apply for a busking permit, follow these steps:

1. Review the City of Kirkland's busking rules and ordinances.

2. Complete a permit application and register for a permit at www.KirklandParks.net. You will need to create an online account, answer the permit questions, and pay the permit fee. 

3. Bring your receipt to the Kirkland Parks and Community Services office during business hours. Our office is located in the lower level of Kirkland City Hall (123 5th Ave) and we are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. We are closed on holidays. 

4. At our office, review the busking permit rules and pick up your permit. Permits are not official until approved by the Issuing Officer. If your permit is not approved, your payment will be refunded.