Busker guidelines

General rule for busking/street performing at light rail stations

Sound Transit allows busking at certain Link light rail stations. Approved sites are marked with a star. To perform at these sites, buskers must follow the guidelines below.

Approved light rail station busking sites

Busker guidelines

  • Busking operates on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Buskers can only perform at approved sites. No busking when either the performer and/or the audience blocks pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic.
  • Maximum performance time is two hours per busking site.
  • No more than five persons may perform at a site at a time without prior approval.
  • Larger groups of six or more must receive approval to perform by submitting a large group performance request.
    • Please include: number in group, performance site preference, dates, and approximate times of performance. It may take at least two weeks to receive approval, and first come first-served rules still apply.
  • Buskers cannot use amplification. Performers must perform at volume levels that do not jeopardize the comfort of their audience as well as passersby’s.
  • Sound Transit does not permit high-risk or unsafe performances—such as those involving knives or fire—that may put the public and/or the performer at risk.
  • All performances must be suitable for a general family audience rating; Sound Transit does not allow profanity or obscene language.
  • Performers acknowledge they perform at their own risk on Sound Transit property.
  • No performing at any station during special events or festivals. Includes: UW Station during University of Washington Husky football games, Husky basketball games and graduation.

Sound Transit reserves the right to stop or relocate performers if they create a safety or security problem or interfere with transit operations. If performers fail to comply with these guidelines, Sound Transit can revoke busking privileges and ask the performer(s) to leave the station. If conduct violates other Sound Transit policies or state laws, the agency may employ its Expulsion and Suspension Policy. Sound Transit also reserves the right to revise these guidelines at any time.

General information about performing at Sound Transit stations

Sound Transit Link light rail stations are not public forums. While stations are accessible to the general public, they are not generally open to the public for expressive activity. Thus, they are not open public forums either by nature or by designation. Sound Transit light rail stations exist for public transit-related activities and provide limited space for other activities.

Sound Transit has legitimate interests that impact expressive activities regardless of viewpoint, including:

  • Maintaining safe, clean, secure and inviting light rail stations that retain existing users, and attract new users of public transit services.
  • Preventing delays and inconvenience to riders by minimizing congestion and expediting boarding, transferring and de-boarding of transit vehicles.
  • Reducing litter pickup and other maintenance or administrative expenses so as to maximize the provision of public transit services.
  • Securing and maximizing the use of shelter space for persons using light rail stations.

Approved light rail station busking sites

Approved busking sites are marked with a star. Stars are found at the following Link station locations:

Northgate Station

  • North plaza

Roosevelt Station

  • South entrance facing NE 65th Street

U District Station

  • South entrance facing NE 43rd Street

University of Washington Station

  • North mezzanine
  • Plaza 

Capitol Hill Station

  • South mezzanine*
  • East John Street Entrance

Westlake Station

  • Landing between escalators at south entrance (outside of now-closed Nordstrom entrance)

University Street Station

  • South mezzanine, east wall

Pioneer Square Station

  • North mezzanine, east wall

International District/Chinatown Station

  • Surface plaza facing South King Street

Beacon Hill Station

  • Plaza Mt Baker Station
  • Plaza

Columbia City Station

  • Edmunds Street Plaza
  • Alaska Street Plaza

Othello Station

  • Myrtle Street Plaza
  • Othello Street Plaza

Tukwila International Boulevard Station (TIBS)

  • Mezzanine

Angle Lake Station

  • Plaza

*Sound Transit waives the Fare Paid Zone requirement for performers at the Capitol Hill Station south mezzanine.