—by Sam Hickman

What if I told you I have a gig where I make my own hours, earn decent money, and pick my own office? Don’t believe me? Well, it’s the truth, promise. I am a busker, and I’m going to show you how you can play this great gig too. I’m a singing harpist based in Cardiff, the capital city of sunny Wales, and I have been busking around the UK for almost five years. I’ve learned a few things during my time out and about that will help the budding busker.

Scenes from Sam Hickman’s busking life, which she chronicles on her Instagram account @samhickmanmusic.

Step 1: Follow the Rules

Before you do anything, you need to know the rules for busking in your city or town. Do you need a permit? What hours is busking allowed? Are there restrictions on amplification? Your local city or town government is usually the go-to source for this information. Many times this information is available on the city’s website, but if you can’t find out there, a simple email to local officials will get answers to your questions.

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  3. Great article, Sam! Thank you for your insights! I used to busk a lot when I was fairly new to harp and I remember it being a lot of fun. Somehow, when our success takes off we can forget that the things we did out of desperation in the beginning can still be enjoyable and profitable. I just wish our weather was better for more months of the year! (Seattle area)

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