Rawly answering: No, Street perform in Lisbon is not allowed. In this article you’ll find all the answers you are looking for.
1.Do I need a street perform license to busk in Lisbon 2020?
Yes, you need a Public space occupation license in Lisbon and it’s one of the trickiest things to get in Lisbon. While in Dublin, London, Edinburgh and other cities you can get a street performer license quick and easy for 10 Euros, in Lisbon it is the artist’s number one enemy. But why?
2. How to submit for a music license in Lisbon?
Each neighbourhood in Lisbon has an independent responsible council called Junta de freguesia and each of them has their own regulations, it means that there’s no standard application for street performers. It is very subjective and bureaucratic.
It’s necessary to go personally to the council desired and ask for the application. After collecting pictures and describing every single detail of your performance you are able to submit.
3. How long do I have to wait for a license to street perform in Lisbon?
It might take around 30 days to receive an answer and for that you need to have a valid address or someone who can receive the mail for you.
4. Can I play in the streets of Lisbon?
The process of asking a license to play in Lisbon is tough, you need to know what is the council of your region, fill the application with pictures, all your set, hours, desired space and noise measure. Usually it takes over a month to receive an answer – 99% of the cases it’s a huge NO, unless you are a rich entrepreneur who is running a festival or something like this.
5. How much does a street perform license in Lisbon costs?
If you were lucky and the council has approved your submission, they should charge you a bit of money to keep your license temporarily. There’s no standard value or period, seen that each council works by its own regulations. It varies from 20 to thousands of Euros depending on the size of your set and noise.
6. What happens if I busk in Lisbon without a license?
As a musician or any other person occupying public spaces you are subject to a fine. Police may advert you once – if you are lucky. It can be a real nightmare to be arrested busking in Lisbon so here are the consequences of street performing illegally in Lisbon 2020:
- The police will seize your equipment and bring with them. Say goodbye to your guitar and amp.
- You’ll might be asked to go to the police department to sign papers or not. You will sign papers anyway or respond legally.
- You be charged at least in 150 Euros for violating public space, if you don’t pay, you’ll be restricted from some of your rights and you’ll never see your equipment again.
- Bureaucracy is a treat in Lisbon, in the best case, you have to wait at least one day to get your stuff back after paying the fine.
That’s what we do in Lisbon anyways.
7. The police agents who’ll seize your equipments are undercover.
The public agents who do this seizing job are not regular policeman, they are undercover on the streets to get pickpockets, drug dealers and… MUSICIANS! So it’s easy to spot one, they look just like any other tourist in a sea of tourists.
8. How much money do I get busking in Lisbon?
This is the trickiest question about street performance in Lisbon. It depends on each performer. If you are selling merchandising, like records for example, it increases your chances to get more money. Also speaking different languages will help you out a lot. It is known that some Lisbon performers can make from 0 Euros to 500 Euros per day only on the streets of Lisbon – during the summer season at least.
As said previously, it is risky and requires a lot of passion and patience, if you’re just a hobby musician and don’t feel like doing it go check other trending jobs in Lisbon 2020 that might be much better for you.
9. Is it worth playing in Lisbon?
Overall, to street perform in lisbon might pay off in case you get arrested, that’s why performers still do it. It is a trending job in Lisbon 2020, the tourism in Lisbon is empowering arts in Lisbon. Be warned that you can be arrested and never see your instruments again even after paying the fine. There are lots of known performers yearly arrested in Lisbon who never recovered their sets.
If you want to know more about street performing in Lisbon you must read: Busking in Lisbon – The ultimate guide for artists 2020 – before trying to busk in the Portuguese capital, written by Raphael Racor – Musician, songwriter and busker based in Lisbon.
Enjoy and respect Lisbon!