by Susan Basko, esq.
Chicago Street Performers! Get ready for Summer fun and moneymaking. Get a Street Performers license and head on out to entertain the thousands of tourists traipsing through this gorgeous city.
Also see the older post about Chicago Street Performing for lots of info:
As always - KEEP IN MIND: The Chicago Street Performers permit does NOT include CTA stations or Metra or Amtrak or the airports. CTA has special, very restrictive permits. Metra requires a special permit and appointment, possibly with insurance. Airports are very restrictive, other than the approaches that are actually part of the CTA. Amtrak is a performance in its own right.
Chicago updated the Street Performer's Law:
What does the permit cost?
Chapter 4-5-010 (27)
Street Peddler and Street Performers
$100.00 (EDITOR NOTE: A reader wrote in to say this $100 is for 2 years.)
Provided, however, that the fee shall be $50.00 if the licensee is: 65 or more years of age at the time of application; or a veteran of the armed forces of the United States, whose discharge from military or naval service was other than dishonorable; or a person with a physical or mental disability, as certified by a medical doctor.
STREET PEDDLERS AND STREET PERFORMERS
ARTICLE I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
As used in this chapter:
“Commissioner” means the commissioner of business affairs and consumer protection or the commissioner's designee.
“Department” means the department of business affairs and consumer protection.
“Licensee” means any person holding or required to hold a license under this Chapter 4-244.
“Millennium Park” has the meaning ascribed to the term in Section 10-36-140.
“Peddler” or “street peddler” means any individual who, going from place to place, whether on private property or on the public way, sells, offers for sale, sells and delivers, barters or exchanges any goods, wares, merchandise, wood, fruits, vegetables or produce from a vehicle or otherwise. The term “peddler” does not include (1) a “grower” or “producer” as defined in Section 4-12-010 of this Code, or (2) any class of peddler specifically defined and licensed or required to be licensed under other chapters of this Code, including, but not limited to, (i) any junk peddler within the meaning of Section 4-6-150; (ii) any merchant within the meaning of Chapter 4-212 of this Code, or (iii) any mobile food dispenser within the meaning of Chapter 4-8 of this Code.
“Perform” means and includes, but is not limited to, the following activities: acting, singing, playing musical instruments, pantomime, juggling, magic, dancing or reciting.
“Performer” means any person holding or required to hold a street performer permit under this chapter.
“Public area” means any sidewalk, parkway, playground or other public way located within the corporate limits of the City. The term “public area” does not include transit platforms and stations operated by the Chicago Transit Authority or the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
“Special event” means any special event conducted by the City of Chicago, including, but not limited to. events conducted with the permission of the Chicago Park District in parks or other facilities operated by the Chicago Park District.(Prior code § 160-1; Amend Coun. J. 10-7-09, p. 72718, § 3; Amend Coun. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 117)
Article III. Street Performers
No person may perform in a public area without first having obtained a permit issued under Section 4-244-162 of this chapter.
(Added Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 125)
(a) A permit shall be issued by the commissioner to each applicant for such permit in exchange for a completed application and a permit fee in the amount set forth in Chapter 4-5 of this Code.
(b) A completed application for a permit under this section shall contain the applicant's name, address and telephone number and shall be signed by the applicant.
(c) The permit required under this section shall contain (1) the name and permit number or department account number of the permit holder; (2) a clear photograph of the permit holder; and (3) the year in which the permit was issued. The permit shall be in a form that can be displayed.
(d) The permit required under this section shall be nontransferable.
(e) Upon issuing a permit under this section, the commissioner shall also issue to the performer named in such permit a printed copy of this chapter.
(Added Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 125; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, § 125)
A performer shall carry and display a permit on his or person at all times while performing in a public area, and shall wear the permit in a manner that is clearly visible to the public.
(Added Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 125)
(a) A performance may take place in any public area, but only between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
(b) A performer may not block the passage of the public through a public area. If a sufficient crowd gathers to see or hear a performer such that the passage of the public through a public area is blocked, a police officer may disperse that portion of the crowd that is blocking the passage of the public, or may order the performer to cease performing at that location until the conditions causing the congestion have abated.
(c) A performer may not perform on the public way so as to obstruct access to private property, except with the prior consent of the owner or manager of the property.
(d) (1) A performer shall comply in all respects with the relevant portions of the noise and vibration control provisions of the Chicago Noise Ordinance, Chapter 8-32 of the Municipal Code, and all other applicable Code provisions, which prohibit a street performer from generating any sound by any means so that the sound is louder than an average conversational level at a distance of 100 feet or more, measured either horizontally or vertically from the point of generation. Failure to comply with these noise control limitations shall constitute a violation of this subsection (d)(1) and shall subject the violator to the penalties set forth in subsection (e) of this section and to the fine set forth in Section 4-244-170(b).
Any performer whose performance in the area bounded by Lake Michigan on the east, Oak Street on the north, Congress Parkway on the south and LaSalle Street and Wacker Drive on the west (including both sides of the named boundary streets), has exceeded the noise limitations set forth in Section 8-32-070, and restated in this subsection (d)(1), and who is given notice thereof and requested to move by a police officer, shall move the location of his or her performance at least two city blocks from the location where the noise violation occurred. Failure to obey such a request to move is a violation of this section.
(2) It shall be a separate violation of this subsection (d) for a street performer to generate any sound by any means so that the sound is louder than an average conversational level at a distance of 200 feet or more, measured either horizontally or vertically from the point of generation. Failure to comply with these noise control limitations shall subject the violator to the penalties set forth in subsection (e) of this section.
(e) Anyone found guilty of two violations of subsection (d)(i) of this section within one calendar year, and anyone found guilty of one violation of subsection (d)(2) of this section, shall have his or her street performer's permit revoked by the department for a period of one calendar year. Permit revocations shall be conducted in accordance with procedures established by the department. In addition to permit revocation and the fine provided for in Section 4-244-170(b), a person violating subsection (d) of this section may also be required to perform up to 24 hours of community service.
(f) All street performers are prohibited from performing in the highly congested area on both sides of Michigan Avenue, bounded by East Delaware Place on the north and East Superior Street on the south.
(g) No performer shall, while performing on the public way (1) along that portion of Jackson Boulevard that lies between Columbus Drive and Lake Shore Drive at any time during which a concert is being performed in the Petrillo Music Shell, or (2) along that portion of Randolph Street that lies between Columbus Drive and Michigan Avenue, and along that portion of Columbus Drive that lies between Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street, at any time during which a concert is being performed in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, emit noise that is audible to a person with normal hearing more than 20 feet away.
(h) No performance by a performer shall be allowed at any time in Millennium Park, or on any sidewalk that abuts Millennium Park.
(Added Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 125; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, § 126)
A performer who performs and accepts contributions under the provisions of this chapter shall not be committing disorderly conduct under Section 8-4-010 of the Municipal Code of Chicago by virtue of those acts.
(Added Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 125)
ARTICLE IV. ENFORCEMENT
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, and in addition to any other penalty provided by law, any peddler who shall be found liable or guilty of any fraud or misrepresentation, or who shall violate any of the provisions set forth in Article II of this chapter, shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $200.00 for each offense.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, and in addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who violates any of the provisions of Article III of this chapter, including, but not limited to, the noise control limitations set forth in subsection (d) of Section 4-244-164, or who knowingly furnishes false information on the permit application required under Section 4-244-161, shall be subject to a fine of $300.00 for the first offense and $500 thereafter for any subsequent violations. Except as otherwise specifically provided in Article III of this chapter, any person found guilty of three or more violations of any of the provisions of Article III of this chapter within one calendar year shall have his or her street performer's permit revoked by the department for a period of one calendar year. Permit revocations shall be conducted in accordance with procedures established by the department.
(Added Coun. J. 12-9-92, p. 25465; Amend Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 126; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, § 127)
The mayor, by and through the commissioner of the department of cultural affairs and special events, shall have the authority to promulgate reasonable rules and regulations governing the time, place manner and duration of all performances permitted under this chapter which occur during the course of a special event, including during its set up and clean up.
Such regulations shall include establishing specified areas within, or reasonably near the perimeter of, the grounds of a special event to which performers shall be limited, and such other restrictions as are reasonably necessary to ensure attendees' enjoyment of planned events, protection of unique public art and landscapes, and public safety and welfare. Copies of such regulations shall be published and made available both in advance of and at the location of the special event.
(Added Coun. J. 5-9-12, p. 27485, § 127; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, § 128)