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Street Performance Downtown Santa Cruz

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A Street Performance Permit may be obtained for performances, which cannot be accommodated by the existing Downtown Ordinances. Permits may only be issued in at least one of the following situations:

    1. The performance requires a space greater than 2’ by 6’.
    2. It takes longer than 20 minutes to set up.


1. Permit applications can be obtained at no cost at the Parks and Recreation Office, 323 Church Street, Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. It will take approximately 36 hours to process a permit.


2. Permits will be issued for a maximum of two (2) hours on Pacific Avenue and the side streets off Pacific Avenue and for a maximum of three (3) hours in the downtown alleys. Only one performance per day in each location. Permitted hours will be between 11:00 am and 10:00 pm.


3. Only one permit, per applicant, per day in a specific area will be issued, however, a permit may be obtained for up to four (4) performance dates.


4. Permits are granted every day of the week; however a permit will only be approved for one weekend day (Saturday or Sunday) per week in the same location.


5. Permits will be issued up to 90 (ninety) days in advance.


6. Use of fuel-powered generators for electricity is not allowed.  Battery-operated amplifiers are permitted. If you require an outside power source, an Access to Power Permit is available for amplified music and can be obtained through the Parks and Recreation Department. The Access to Power permit fee is $20.


7. No commercial sales are allowed; however, donations may be accepted for copies of the performer’s music.


8. Street performers shall manage and monitor crowd size and exercise crowd control by engaging in performance intermissions or taking other actions to moderate the crowd size whenever a clear pedestrian thoroughfare along the sidewalk is maintained at all times. In some cases monitors must be used to assure crowd safety.


9. Street performers must obey all local, state, and federal laws and must comply with police officer directives to ensure public safety.


10. As a courtesy, businesses adjacent to where the performance will occur must be notified by permittee of the performance at least one (1) week prior to the performance, in order to take into consideration any concerns.


11. Failure to comply with the rules, complaints, excessive noise, public safety issues or crowd control concerns may result in immediate termination or suspension of permit and citation. (Ord. 9.40.060)


12. The permit must be in the possession of the performer during permitted hours. It is suggested performers visibly display their permit at all times during the permitted hours to avoid disruption of the performance should proof of permit be requested.