In 2022, the City of Gainesville introduced a busking pilot program, the GNV Street Shows, to not only provide a new platform for local performers, but also increase pedestrian activity in the City’s historic downtown where designated “Busk Stops” have been created. This program, housed under the City’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Division, came from the suggestion of local artists.
Busking is the activity of performing in a street or public space for voluntary donations. To incentivize performers, the City has guaranteed pay for the performers, and performers can take home any additional tips they may receive while entertaining.
Interested performers apply for free via the City’s website and are provided with a date, time and designated “busk stop.” Performers display a “Busk Pass” while entertaining to show their affiliation with the Street Shows program. The City provides guidelines for each performer, which were created from focus groups and surveys of local performers and businesses.