You are required to have a permit for some public performances. You can learn how to apply for a musician or performer permit. 

The requirements, fees, and process for obtaining a permit depend on where the performance will take place.

You need a permit for instrumental, singing, or dancing performances at Staten Island Ferry terminals.

You can audition with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Music Under New York (MUSIC) program. If you are approved, the Department of Transportation will issue you a permit.

Permits aren't issued for any activity on ferry boats.

Learn how to apply and audition for the MUSIC program.

Street performers usually do not need a permit. However, a permit is required if you: 

  • Use a sound device such as a loud speaker, megaphone, or stereo 
  • Perform in or next to a park

You can complete an application for a Sound Device Permit during business hours at the local police precinct. There is a $45 fee. To locate a precinct, go to the Police Precincts and PSAs page.

You can apply for a Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Special Events Permit to perform in or next to a public park. There is a $25 fee. To learn how to apply for a DPR permit, go to the Park Event Permit page.

The Music Under New York (MUSIC) program coordinates special events throughout the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) transit system. MUSIC selects performers by audition.

You don't have to be part of the MUSIC program to perform in the subway system, but you must follow the MTA’s rules of conduct.


Learn how to apply and audition for the MUSIC program.

Read the MTA's rules of conduct.

By Phone

  • Agency: Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Division: Music Under New York
  • Phone Number: (212) 878-4678
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 10 AM - 4 PM

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