The rules are not implemented fully yet, but that is changing all the time for the worse. The unpredictability of random enforcement of rules by local authorities further complicates the current status of the Berlin Street Scene. Until there isn't any change to the current laws, please be sure that your volume is not too loud. As amps are getting more powerful and louder and more and more people are starting to play on the streets, the situation is bound to get worse.
If you get stopped by police or Ordnungsamt; be respectful, apologise and leave. Maybe it was not a good spot to play at or maybe you were actually being too loud so avoid that spot and turn it down. Watch out for each other and make sure your volume is not too loud and don't play too often at the same spot in case people might get tired of hearing you – try and be sensitive on this! If neighbours approach you; be kind, respectful and try to understand their point of view and please invite them to one of our open meetings. We want to enable a dialogue between different parties.
Be aware that for breaking the rules you may be fined up to 50.000 € §15 II LImSchG https://www.berlin.de/senuvk/umwelt/laerm/laermschutz/limschg.shtml (though fines we've heard of vary between 30-1000 €) or your instruments or the amp might be confiscated § 15 Nr. 1, 2 and 3 LimSchG. Unfortunately the law is not clear on what happens to the confiscated goods, we've heard of people getting them back for another fee, though it is also possible that you will never see them again...
Un-amplified street music is allowed in general though you can not play in... -
- Public parks and green areas
- On private property without permission, e.g. the Subway BVG have their own permit system http://unternehmen.bvg.de/de/Unternehmen/BVG-Business/Objektnutzung/Musizieren which allows music at the stations (but it is never allowed inside the subway or on the platforms)
- Within 60 m from vulnerable buildings such as hospitals or senior homes
- Within 20 m from residential buildings - in front of schools during the time of classes
- In front of churches during mass
-In each district some further areas might also be out of bounds even for un-amplified music:
In Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg: im Boxhagener Kiez, umgrenzt durch die Warschauer Str., Grünberger Str., Boxhagener Str., Revaler Str., Neue Bahnhofstr., Modersohnbrücke, Simon-Dach -Kiez, Warschauer Str. zwischen Revaler Str., Mühlenstr., Straße der Pariser Kommune einschließlich Warschauer Brücke, Admiralbrücke, Bergmannstraßenkiez, zwischen Mehringdamm, Schleiermacher Str. sowie rund um den Chamissoplatz, Oberbaumbrücke, Schlesische Str. , rund um den U-Bhf. Schlesische Str..
Also the times of street music is restricted to 8-13 and 15-20 and it is not allowed on Sundays and other holidays
- Maximum playing time is 60 min, in pedestrian areas you can only play 15 min until you need to change the location by a minimum of 100 m. If a spot has been played on so far you also need to set up at least 100 m from that spot.
Amplified music is not allowed, but you can get permit from each district separately § 10 LImSchG Bln. Usually the Umwelt- und Naturschutzamt is the responsible authority for applications, in some districts it's the Ordnungsamt. There is no guarantee however you will get any permit as the officials can decide according to the district's demands. It may take about 4 weeks for the application to be processed.
In addition to the permit to play with amplification you may also need a permit for using the public street according to the Straßengesetz, in particular for placing amplifiers on the streets. The Ordnungsamt of each district is the responsible authority.
Playback is only allowed as a discreet background music. Within the permit of each district there will be further restrictions on the time and space of playing.
The permit in Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain would only allow amplified music on 24 occasions within 6 months from 01.04-30.09 (allowing street music only one time per week) for one hour at a time. While applying you already need to know the dates, times and places for each of your 24 performances. The permit can cost from 35 to 180 €.
On Wittenbergplatz you may only play for 30 min at a time on the same spot. A performance of multiple street musicians, also individual musicians of bands or other loud participants is not allowed.
Pankow-Weißensee (also Prenzlauerberg):
Kollwitzplatz and Oderberger Straße are excluded from the permit. Mauerpark is a park so it is also excluded from the permit for playing on the street.
Please note: The rules listed above are valid for the aforementioned districts alone. Each district of Berlin has its own set of rules one needs to get informed about. Each district requires its own permit. Each permit has its own fee – meaning that if you want to play in several districts, you will need to apply for several permits and pay several fees.
There is no permit on the city level. Berlin Street Music provides this site as a service to the public and Web site owners.