Busking...legal or illegal?

I once played a bit of guitar outside of the McDonalds in Ximending. I can’t speak any Mandarin so I had a friend with me who helped me borrow a stool from a vendor. Played for about an hour, and earned 589 NT!!! This was before I was familiar with the dangers of deportations and work permits and such, but I had a great time. It started off really slow at first…the only people who would look my way were foreigners who knew the songs I was playing haha…this was in late July of 2005.

Does anyone watch 5 Takes? The most recent episode showed Gabe and Tony busking and it was so funny…

I talked to my buddy who’s been busking close to Taipei 101 for the last few weeks, he said that him and his taiwanese gf talked to the police about the legal stuff for busking. The police said it’s ok as long as the business you do it in front of has no problems with you doing it. I don’t know if it’s the same for everywhere, probably not.


I was out busking tonight, and almost got busted, but I ran faster than the cops. I guess they didn’t care for my performance art. Just doing a little auto-erotic asphyxation simulation exercises the entertainment and education of kids in front of city hall.

It is ART, god damn it!

[quote=“Quentin”]Just doing a little auto-erotic asphyxation simulation exercises the entertainment and education of kids in front of city hall.

It is ART, god damn it![/quote]

Lol - nice.

If the meowing stranger can do it, there should be no problem with your ART!

I was wondering if anyone could give me any more details about busking in Taiwan. Does anyone know how I’d go about getting a permit for playing music and what kind of places I’d be allowed to play?

Seen a bunch of Taiwanese doing that near Danshui MRT… usually the same people everyday playing the same god-awful music you hear on the radio everyday (I guess that’s what they want to hear). I’d like to hear some variety sometimes…

Relevant article: culture.tw/index.php?option= … Itemid=157

Still not sure where exactly to get these permits, and when are these rehearsals? Are they public?

I think it’s an ‘exam’ run by the city government. Like you have a gathering and everybody plays a short set for the examiners. Look up 街頭藝人 (street performers) for more info.

Anyone ever see the black guy near the xinguangsanyue stores near 101? He plays the guitar and sings, has a sign that says “don’t take a picture unless you give a donation” or something like that. He also sells his own CDs. His singing is absolutely horrid. When I’m there I beg for the light to turn quickly so I can get the hell out of there. I heard him complaining about people taking pics without giving him money, and begs for donations in between songs. Maybe he thinks Taiwanese have no ear for decent music. His singing is really that bad

Is it this guy?

LOL nope, but about the same skin tone

Does anyone know where I apply for a permit in Taoyuan county? I live in Daxi. I guess I have to go to the regional office.

Anyone had any experience busking in Taoyuan City? I guess the money’s not as good as Taipei, but buskers can be more appreciated outside the capital.

There’s a tunnel by the train station with good acoustics…

This is some pretty unnecessary negativity, he can keep pitch and play guitar without making audible mistakes, that’s a lot better than most musicians out there. I see him around 101 and Ximen, he’s been quite pleasant when I’ve spoken to him in the past (when I first arrived and needed directions etc).

Bump, anyone have experience filling out the busker application form? Apparenlty the test is at the end of this month and if we don’t get one, the next one is in November, which is like forever from now :ponder:

I’m interested in this too, but I think having an ARC is a prerequisite. If anyone knows different, I’ll do the test. Yes, the deadline is approaching. I have seen some people busk with no permit, if you are well dressed and polite, and play well, you can probably get away with it.

One of Jerome Keating’s “Breakfast Club” meetings was actually about this. In Taipei, at least: Yes, you need a permit, of which a limited number are distributed (each linked to a specific location, not all of them equally desirable). Yes, there is competition to get them, and I think there is a random drawing to allocate the spots. I’ll try to look up the contact info of that day’s speaker, and PM you with it if I can find it.

I know somebody who does horror makeup. I think a great act would be to get him to make me look horribly deformed–like, with two heads or something–and then just beg for money, banging my head on the ground like the other beggars do.

I can’t remember the details last year but there was some legal issue with my visa. I think even if you have an ARC it might count as work on the side. Maybe you need a looser work permit which allows you to work 2 jobs. All I know is there was some sort of red tape obstacle and I dropped it.

There is a guy in Danshui who plays awful harmonica. He has cleverly disguised this by spraying himself with gold paint. He’s now a legitimate act with a busking permit.