Voice amplification allowed without license
Created: March 19, 2008.
Since the change in the Amsterdam by-law (APV) street performing is officially license-free.
Basically, this means every performer can do their show on the streets of Amsterdam, without a
license, and so regardless of their nationality and status. However, there are some exceptions,
for example when a performer uses amplification. In this case one still needs a license, which
non-EU performers can not obtain.
To overcome this problem, the Mayor has made a socalled 'gedoogbrief' (letter of allowance).
This letter states that - although formally illegal - amplification will be allowed
within certain boundaries. This system will be a test for the
season of 2008. Afterwards, the test will be evaluated and possibly prolonged, depending on the
experiences of this season.
The city council will publish this Mayor's decision and inform the police.
PERFORMERS: Each performer without license using voice amplification is advised to carry a printout of
the 'gedoogbrief', which can be downloaded from this website. Available are two quality versions
in PDF format, opening in a new separate window:
low resolution (200 dpi, 94 kB)
and high resolution (400 dpi, 278 kB).
Still some problems remain for non-EU performers: using fire and 'dangerous' attributes, such as chainsaws and
juggling machetes. This is only allowed with a license, which only EU citizens can obtain. We are working on
getting this resolved as well.
Read the latest news
(updated March 31, 2010).