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I have dedicated much of my living to street performing or "busking" these past 3 years. I perform in several locations in Los Angeles and will be expanding to different parts of California soon! Here's a list of the places I've played and a little information about what to expect if you are a busker! If any of this is helpful, please comment in this blog post, or subscribe to my YouTube channel! These locations are just some suggestions of places to visit when getting started. They are great if you are under 21 or want to find places that aren't centered around alcohol. If you are new to Los Angeles, busking at a local street fair, vintage market or farmers market is a great way to make friends, network and show people your talent and guess what?! They are completely FREE. Stay away from promoters on Hollywood Blvd that make you sell tickets. They are sharks.
1.) 3rd Street Santa Monica Promenade and Pier (Saturday and Sunday afternoons)
Permit required. Cost is $37 once a year and it lasts until December 31st. On the Promenade, time slots are 2 hours and performers must set up and shut down within that time. A performer must move 150 feet away from their original location when time slots have ended and must be at least 40ft away from another performer. Times to play are 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, 10-midnight. A performer can sell CD's and put out a tip jar and they cannot be louder than 90db.
I have had ups and downs playing on the 3rd street promenade. If you get there at mid-day it's great but if you try and find a spot in the afternoon on a weekend you will have no luck or be drowned out by the other musicians blasting their music. It's a very touristy area and people will show you love if they can hear you! You can play covers or originals. For me, I personally like playing on weekday afternoons or Sunday Mornings. Wednesday and Thursday evenings can be good.
Watch this YouTube Tutorial to find out how to play on the pier!
2.) Downtown Burbank off of San Fernando and Palm Ave. (Thursday, Friday evenings)
I love playing here and on a hot summer night there are tons of people walking around who will listen! You don't need a permit and you can play with amplification. Also parking is free in the garages.
Watch this YouTube Tutorial to find out to power your guitar and vocal effects pedal with Batteries!
3.) Melrose Trading Post (Once or twice a month on Sundays)
This is a fleamarket at Fairfax High School that I've been playing at since 2014. It is very touristy and a great place to sell CD's. You have to be booked by the market manager to play. Power is provided.
Watch this YouTube Video to see what a typical day is like at the Flea Market!
4.) Topanga Vintage Market-
This is every 4th Sunday of the month located at Pierce College. They have different performers throughout the year. Check out their instagram for more info.