Austinites get a preview of the city’s busking pilot program


Head on over to Seaholm District in downtown and soon you can expect to see more musicians playing.

It’s all part of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department’s street performing pilot program as part of ATX Musicians Compensation Initiative. The real estate development company Trammel Crow is underwriting the program through a one-time allocation of $150,000 to pay street performers in the Green Water Development through Fall 2022.

This allows the city to pay each musician $150 for each performance. The city says they expect to be able to fund this program for three years with the $150,000 grant.

During the first year or the program, performances will take place noon through 4 p.m. on Saturdays at the Google building located at 500 West 2nd Street. There will be four performances with each lasting an hour. Organizers say people can expect a variety of performances from musical genres ranging from blues and jazz to rock and pop. They say there’s a little bit of everything.

A total of 400 performers have applied so far, and the city says the application process will remain open through the pilot program to encourage others to apply. The city also says this program does not have an exclusivity clause and performers are welcome to perform for the day if approved and perform again later that night wherever they choose.

The city says the program serves several purposes:

  • Provide additional revenue streams to local Austin musicians.
  • Draw downtown residents and visitors to newly opened public spaces and buildings within the development through public music performance.
  • Learn the best methods to expand the program to additional areas within Austin.
  • Provide opportunities to increase live music performances that support Austin’s Music Friendly Community designation.

To participate in this program, musicians can apply at the City of Austin Economic Development Department’s Music and Entertainment Division or online at

Payments to musicians will be processed by the City’s Economic Development Department.

The city says a musician’s set up must be small and must be completed without electrical amplification and selected applicants must be a City of Austin Vendor or must register online at

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