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Old 06-25-06, 08:34 AM   #1
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Default Busking Chicago

My latest pitch is the Lincoln Park Zoo. After you get your $50 permit from the City of Chicago you drop another $20 to get your zoo permit. With that in hand 75% of the zoo is off limits to performers. I was told that I am not allowed to ask for tips and that I can not have a sigh that asks for tip either. So much for the freedom of speech. People are just going to see a hat on the ground and work it out. Thatís what I was told but the funny thing is that the rules that I was asked to sign donít seem to mention that. Here look for your self.

Street Performer Requirements


a. "Perform" shall have the meaning given that term in Section 4-268-010 (a) of the
Municipal Code of the City of Chicago, which states "Perform" means and includes
but is not limited to the following activities: acting, singing, playing musical
instruments, pantomime, juggling, magic, dancing and reciting."

b. "Performer" means an individual to whom a permit is issued pursuant to the
following requirements. "Performer" applies to an individual only, each person in a
group is considered to be an individual performer.

2. Permit Requirements

a. No person may perform on zoo grounds without having obtained a permit from the

b. A permit shall be issued by the Guest Services Department to each applicant in
exchange for a completed application and a $20.00 permit fee.

c. Permit applicants must provide proof that they hold a valid performer permit issued
by the City of Chicago.

d. A zoo permit is valid ITomApril 1 (or the date of issue if at a later date) to March 31
of the following year.

e. A performer must carry and display both the city permit and the zoo permit while
performing on zoo grounds.

f. A permit shall be nontransferable.

g. If two or more people are performing together, each person must have a permit.

3.Rules and Regulations

A. A person may perform only during the hours in which the zoo is open to the general public.

B. No performer may perform at any after-hours event where entry is restricted by
invitation or admission fee.

c. A performer may not perform inside any animal house, inside any food or retail
facility, nor in the seating area of any outdoor food service facility.

D. A performer may not perform in any outdoor location where pedestrian traffic is impeded, the viewing of the exhibits is obstructed or a public safety risk is created. Zoo employees, security staff and/or police officers may direct performers to move from such areas. The outlined areas on the attached map indicate locations where it is highly likely that performers would impede pedestrian traffic, obstruct the view of the exhibits or create a public safety risk. Performers may only be located on zoo grounds in the areas that are outside of the outlined areas on the map.

E. A performer may not perform in any location regularly utilized by zoo concession carts, education carts, kiosks, vendors or zoo-sponsored performers. Performers shall comply with requests to relocate from authorized zoo employees, security staff and/or police officers. The outlined areas on the attached map indicate locations regularly utilized by zoo concessions, carts, vendors and scheduled performers.

F. No performer may emit noise that is audible to a person with normal hearing more than 20 feet away. Amplification is not allowed under any circumstance.

G. No performer may engage in commercial activities while on zoo grounds or within the zoo concessions boundary (see attached map). The phrase "commercial activities: means the sale of distribution of any tangible item in exchange for money, whether received
contemporaneously as a payment of a price of a gratuity.

H. Lincoln Park Zoo reserves the right to amend, modify or revise these regulations at any time. The zoo has the right to remove any performer who is in violation of any of the
regulations, regardless if performer holds a zoo permit.

So anyone want to guess on how long it will be before I am kicked out?
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Old 06-25-06, 05:07 PM   #2
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All the viable spots will have been taken by the zoo for its concession carts.

If you can do a stage show, maybe you should try for one of their frequent fundraiser shows instead-- Boo At The Zoo etc. They pay quite well.
The World On A String.
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Old 06-25-06, 07:05 PM   #3
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can you work michigan ave still?
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Old 06-26-06, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default beware

I last worked Lincoln Park right outside the zoo about 15 years ago --despite having the proper permits displayed, the police drove through my crowd with two cars light flashing -- just to intimidate & disperse. They never even got out of their cars, and wouldn't talk with me.

Hopefully things have changed since then -- good luck!
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Old 06-26-06, 08:54 PM   #5
Evan Young
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I'll be cruising throught the north mid-west, michigan, chicago, minnisota, etc. this week. anyplace I should drop in on?


Last edited by Evan Young; 06-26-06 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 07-29-06, 01:57 PM   #6
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I was in Chicago a month ago. I didn't like it at all. If there are any events going on busk those and you'll do well. I played infront of Millenium Park most days and made a little money. I did better on the beach but I'm not sure if it's exactly legal there. If you are going through Michigan I recomend stopping in Kalamazoo. I don't know what your act is like but mos def stop by the rock star if you decide to pass through that place. You may not make lots of money there but the kids are really kool. Tell the kids at the rock star Jord the one man band told you about the place.
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