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 must apply for a permit from the Department of Transportation's Staten Island Ferry Division for instrumental, singing, or dancing performances at the Staten Island Ferry terminals. A permit is also required to host a special event or distribute fliers in the terminals.

All permit applications are reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis, in conjunction with the MTA Music Under New York (MUNY) Program.

Performance activities are not allowed on ferry boats.

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 do not have to be part of the MUSIC program to perform in the subway system, but you must follow the MTA’s rules of conduct.

Online

Learn how to audition to be a MUSIC subway performer.

Learn about the MTA's rules of conduct.

By Phone

  • Agency: Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Division: Music Under New York
  • Phone Number: (212) 878-4678
  • Business Hours: Mon - Fri: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM