Permits for Artists and Events
We are excited that you want to perform in Cambridge! Cambridge Arts is here to help you make that happen. Cambridge has a number of licenses and permits that can apply to public events. These are designed to protect artists as well as all our neighbors. Below is a guide to some of the common licenses and permits and when they might apply to you:
• Street Performer/Busker License: What to apply for if you’d like to perform on sidewalks, parks and other City-owned public spaces. The license is totally free.
Department of Public Works:
• Special Events Permit: What to apply for if you’re planning a festival, parade, film shoot or other sizeable events. Often these events may require a permits from multiple City departments.
• Park Permit: What to apply for if you want to reserve a space for a performance in Cambridge park.
• Sidewalk Obstruction Permit: What to apply for if you want to reserve space for performance on a city sidewalk.
Traffic Parking & Transportation:
• Special Event/Street Closure Permit: What to apply for if you’re planning a large event that would require the closing of a Cambridge street.
You may apply for the following licenses as a One Day license or an Annual License:
• Entertainment License
• Alcohol License: What to apply for if you would like to serve alcohol.
• Hawker/Peddler License: What to apply for if you would like to sell things (CDs, souvenirs, merchandise).
• Temporary Amusement (Bounce Houses)
If you need help, navigating the licensing and permitting process, please contact us at Cambridge Arts: 617-349-4380 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for Getting Invited Back
Our shared streets and parks have been a historic forum for Cambridge’s creativity and a launching pad for numerous artists. Below are some tips that champion artists individual First Amendment/Self Expression Rights while respecting others sharing the space with you.
• Artists should not set up within 50 feet of another artist(s) without first consulting with that artist(s). Rotating sets are encouraged in crowded situations.
• Artist should not set up within 10 feet of store/business doors and may not block egresses.
• Don’t get too loud. Artists should generally not be heard outside of a 50 foot radius from their performance site, drums must be inaudible at 150 feet. Loud and amplified instruments/voices heard beyond 50 feet could be considered an infringement upon other artists' First Amendment/Self Expression Rights.
• Artists using loud and amplified instruments/voices are encouraged to:
a. Find locations that conflict or interfere with the fewest artists and businesses as possible and cause fewest community complaints.
b. Turn amplifiers/drums/loud instruments away from nearby performers and walls that could cause reverberation and echoes and to baffle with blankets to dampen and confine sounds to immediate area.
c. Schedule and/or rotate performance times that conflict or interfere with the fewest artists and cause fewest community complaints.
d. Consult with other street artists in immediate performing area about volume and seek mutual solutions.
Cambridge Arts is excited to help foster our long tradition to public performance and to maintain our traditions of our streets and parks as creative and welcoming spaces for all.