London Underground on hunt for musical talent

21 January 2013
  • The Tube's licensed busking scheme to invite musicians to auditions
  • Expressions of interest to be made by 1 February

Musicians wishing to apply for auditions to become a licensed busker must contact London Underground by 1 February by emailing

Much sought after busking licenses will be up for grabs which will allow musicians to play to the four million people that use the Tube a day.

The auditions are due to take place in spring.

A panel of judges, made up of music industry professionals, people from the capital's music scene and London Underground will be scouting for gifted musicians from all musical backgrounds.

Pop, classical, folk, world music and other quality performers are all welcome to apply.

Entrants will be marked on their presentation, musical ability, repertoire and originality.

Since its launch in 2003 the busking scheme has been very popular with customers, and has showcased some of the best live music in London. 

The scheme currently includes 37 busking pitches, which are like mini-stages for musicians, in 25 different stations.

There are currently around 200 active licensed buskers on the scheme.

Gareth Powell, Director of Strategy and Service Development for London Underground, said: 'We are keen to hear from talented musicians who would like to be part of our successful licensed busking scheme. Buskers at stations really help to brighten our customers' journeys.

'With around four million people using the Underground a day busking is a fantastic way of reaching a very large and diverse audience.'

Applicants need to be over 16 years of age to be considered for auditions. The license fee is free. 

Their name will then be put on a waiting list and an application form sent to them. Over 150 licenses will be available to successful applicants following the auditions.

The last auditions took place in 2010 so this is a rare opportunity to obtain a license on a very successful scheme. 

Along with the upcoming auditions, LU is open for sponsorship offers for the busking scheme.

Sponsoring our licensed busking scheme will provide the sponsor with a range of marketing and PR opportunities as well as the possibility to align their brands with this established Underground music culture.

Previous sponsors of the busking scheme include Coca Cola, Carling, Capital 95.8 and thelondonpaper.

Musicians who have already added their names to the waiting list do not need to contact London Underground again as they will automatically be sent an application after the 1 February deadline.

Note to editors:

  • The Tube is undergoing a huge and essential programme to upgrade its ageing infrastructure - vital to cope with a growing population and to support the economic development and growth of the capital and the UK. This includes the introduction of new track and signalling and the rebuilding of some of our most important stations. By the end of the current programme there will be 30% more capacity. This will inevitably result in some disruption for passengers, but TfL is working hard to provide information and alternative travel options. The work is essential to provide for London's growing transport needs now, and into the future.