Rules that Govern Street Performers on Fremont Street Explained

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Neon, historic properties, and inexpensive gambling are what come to mind when you think of making the trip to the Fremont Street Experience. Another, more infamous, aspect of Fremont Street that tends to be difficult to ignore are the numerous street performers or buskers that range from bucket drummers to an elderly man wearing a thong. Some Las Vegas visitors love what Fremont’s street performers bring to the table, others view it as an unfortunate freak show.

What are the rules that govern Fremont Street performers? The thought came to my mind while trying to sleep at 1:30 am at Binion’s Hotel Apache while a bucket drummer’s incessant noise kept me awake. How do they reserve a circle on the Fremont Street Experience, get paid, and stay in the good graces of the authorities? Why are they allowed at all?

See Also: Staying on Fremont Street vs. the Strip. We compare the differences in the experience.

It is important to note that performers on Fremont Street, or the Las Vegas Strip for that matter, cannot charge a fee. They rely on tips and it is always up to the patron what, if anything, will be paid. Performers are often criticized for aggressively demanding tips or shaming those that don’t tip adequately by making a scene. Although you certainly should fork over a few bucks for services rendered if you stop for a photo, you are not obligated to pay their suggested amount.

In 2015, the City of Las Vegas passed an ordinance regulating street performers on Fremont Street. Specifically, 38 six-foot-wide poker chip decals were laid out on the pedestrian mall that buskers would be confined to performing within. Street performers register with the city and a daily lottery is held for 2-hour time blocks on the poker chip decals between 3 pm to 1 am. The ordinance itself was needed to prevent fighting between performers for prime locations, maintain public safety, and lay out perimeters for where “expressive activity” is appropriate.

Also reiterated in the municipal law is that “it is unlawful for a street performer to charge a fee for a performance within the pedestrian mall” although tips and donations may be accepted.

While attire (or lack thereof) is not regulated, noise levels actually are. Street performers are not to exceed specific decibel levels when measured from 1 and 25 feet. The ordinance also regulates how far performers need to be from ATMs, building entrances, crosswalks, outdoor dining areas, live concerts, and even other street performers.

Other fun facts from the Las Vegas Ordinance regulating Fremont Street Experience that apply to all visitors:

  • Hula hoops larger than 4 feet in diameter are forbidden.
  • Launching or throwing items into the air is forbidden unless the performer is connected with an event put on by the Fremont Street Experience LLC.
  • Feeding Birds on the pedestrian mall is prohibited, as is littering and sleeping.

Whether you love street performers or detest them, they will continue to be a permanent fixture in Downtown Las Vegas. If you are looking to earn some scratch performing yourself, hopefully, our guide was helpful in pointing you in the right direction!

Related: 77 completely free things to do in Vegas! 

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48 thoughts on “Rules that Govern Street Performers on Fremont Street Explained”

  1. Why isn’t the attire regulated as there are many children on Fremont St. and doesn’t have an age restriction. A lot of the attire belongs behind doors as in a strip club. This enrages me.

    1. Las Vegas is not for children leave them at home. They are selling gambling, booze, and sex what would you think you were about to see you downtown? A puppet show?

      1. If you feel the need to take children to Vegas…. keep them at Circus Circus! Vegas is NOT a family vacation. You should know, come on now, that Vegas is called the “adult playground” for a reason! Give me a break!

        1. There is no age limit to people in Vegas. If you dont want your kids to see what is there, then dont take them there. But to shame people that do is ridiculous. As a parent that took my 8 year old down to Fremont street, we went twice. Once during the day when it wasnt busy and then again that evening so he could see the lights. I will say that the street performers were very mindful that we had him with us and did not push for pictures. We were mindful of where the performers were and kept our distance. What pisses me the F—off is the fact that some drunken asshole decided that it was his place to scream at my grandson for being there. He then turned my my wife and myself. I stood my ground my wife took our kid…who was in a wheelchair and left the area. The Drunk continued to yell at me that I am ruining his time in Vegas by being there. Really? Cops were called he was arrested, and the cops then explained to us that we were not in the wrong for being there. So one mans tantrum gave our son a bad taste in his mouth to never want to return. Note to parents out there. Take your kids. Let them enjoy a vacation too. All you kids haters here..Fuck Off.

          1. I don’t hate kids, I hate parents who think that Vegas should cater to kids and change the rules. You, sir (Scott), are not one of those parents. 🙂

          2. Well you had me 98% until your foul mouth. Lovely. Then you have he audacity to talk about the behavior of a drunk. Hmmmmm. Well. Kids can enjoy Fremont but it’s up to the parent to be responsible of when and what they see your kid, your choice. But it is Vegas and called Sin City for a reason. Personally I would not take a child under 14-15 down there at night. I’m sure a younger child would survive without seeing the lighting until they are older. We raised kids here and it’s not easy, in fact they become desensitized to sexual photos etc. which in some ways is sad and good. When they went away to college, while other kids were being wild and free our kids didn’t really see the big deal since they saw it in Vegas. So they actually studied.

          3. 100% our daughter loved the lights and dancing and seeing Micky and Mini we had a great time as a family not alot of ppl there we were there in January

    2. Are you kidding? Did you really think it would be like Disney? If it enrages you… STAY AWAY !!!!
      You know what enrages me? People who go to Vegas and expect it to be like Disneyland or some Church convention.

      NEWSFLASH : It’s booze, gambling and sexy showgirls.

        1. Vegas is for adults. If you want to take your children there, then that is on you, as their parents. Don’t shame these people for making a living in Sin City! If you don’t like it, don’t take your kids there. If you want to go to Vegas and can’t find a sitter while you have an adult vacation, then that’s no one else’s problem.

    3. It is 100% your fault if you decide to expose your children to the Adult playground. There is a reason their slogan is “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”
      The rest of the world shouldn’t have to suffer for your parenting mistakes.

    4. I agree. Leave your kids at home or take them to the strip. There are several kid friendly places there (M&M World, Circus Circus, etc.)

    5. Well I’m a performer on freemont me and a couple of my friends from Chicago … we are the Chicago bucket boys … freemont is a cool place for the ppl … some stuff can be hidden but it’s Las Vegas they don’t have filters here … that’s why it makes billions of dollars a year … but I would like to say the way how we get treated for drumming on a bucket is crazy… we get in trouble for being loud but what did ppl that’s in control think that buckets would do ? First fridays they make us not perform because they say our sticks our weapons but we know that’s just to stop us from making money to provide for our families… Also they have 4 different drummer bands on the stages so what’s the point of saying they band drumming sticks on first Friday when they band have sticks that we have ….

  2. Are used to go down there too many crazy people too much homeless you have a guy over there laying on the cement saying move me if you can how stupid

  3. What bothers me most about Vegas is the homelessness and poor whom are begging! This is depressing, as I can’t enjoy wasting money while others need necessities. Leave the entertainment on Fremont alone and wait till your kids are adults to bring them to VEGAS! Honest, kids do quickly turn into adults

  4. Vegas is definitely not for kids if u dont like what’s goin on leave them at home that’s where they should be anyway!!

  5. Why not take your children to Vegas ?? Umm I’ve been there 8 times. The women dancing on top of bars are not bad they have more clothes on than ppl going to the river or beach .. y’all are acting like they are in g strings having sex on top of bars .. kids are not allowed in the casino area so there not bothering no one .. there’s plenty to do for families .. But the only thing is not keeping the children late at night Bc that’s when tourist or young or old or homeless are already drunk and you don’t wanna let your babies see the depressing side of humans
    The cheap drinks is to make you keep playing the casinos not to act stupid in front of families who wanna enjoy Vegas as much as possible

  6. Vegas has so much more to offer then 2 streets! People that bring their children there know this! Spring preserve, lion habitat, red rock, zion, valley of fire, lake mead,hoover dam, etc. Nevermind the fact LA is four hours away if you want Universal Studios! So much to see! The strip and fremont are just a crumb! Everyone should be allowed to live their life how they please and travel where they choose.

  7. I love going to Vegas, I do think it is an Adult Playground and that is why I like going there. My children have asked me to take them there and I promised when they turn 21 I will take them. I dont believe it’s a place for kids to go to until they are of age. That is my opinion, I believe my children dont need to see certain this until they are older. The parents take their children there it is your choice but when I see parent out late is sad, people are drunk children dont need to see that. But there is an ordinance that children can’t be out past 9 which I believe is a great idea. The people looking for “Tips” dont bother me at all, I figure they are my free entertainment while I am there. Children have alot of places to go and play, adults have one huge play ground and that is Vegas!!! So bring your kids but remember others are there to have a great time.

  8. I just love people who bring their kids to Vegas pulling them down the street and through the casinos and look like either mom or dad is not having a good time why can’t they just leaving home with the grand from Grandma Vegas is no place for kids

  9. Every time we go to Vegas we try to figure out where people are going with their kids and babies in strollers, on the strip or downtown, especially late at night. There have been too many times it’s been after midnight and we are on our way to bed, only to see people with kids or pushing a baby stroller, many times with a drink in their hand, blanket over the stroller because it’s cold, and we wonder where they are going. I’m not saying there aren’t things for kids to do in Vegas, but the places we see this and don’t understand are mid-strip or downtown, not Circus Circus or Excalibur or by the pool or at the M&M store or any place that caters to kids, and certainly not during the daytime hours when attractions for kids are open. I can’t imagine how much fun it is for a parent late at night to be marching up and down the strip or Fremont street, with kids and strollers, and not be able to be in the casinos or bars or do anything adult in Vegas.

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