‘License To Play’ examines the present regulations surrounding buskers in the city of Barcelona. Beginning at the Cathedral Square, we recognize that there are physical challenges facing the buskers in the city; namely, the need for a license to play in Ciutat Vella. Currently, a set number of licenses are given out at the beginning of each year to have the right to play in this neighbourhood; the rest of the city does not require a license. Looking at the digital world, we also research how artists make money off of music streaming platforms, finding that through them it is difficult for musicians to gain exposure.

Our project proposes how a potential merge of the physical and digital worlds of music could look in the context of busking in Barcelona. In the space between these two worlds, there is space for a platform to serve as a licensing body, designed to cater toward the needs of the buskers and also give them exposure on streaming platforms. This platform could potentially be used for citizens to learn who is playing, what kinds of music they are playing, and more information on the artists, changing the relationship between musician and citizen. There is also the space for this platform to provide urban furniture or insurance to the artists, changing the relationship between the musician and the city. Overall, the existence of a platform to serve as a licensing body creates room for change of the relationships between citizen, city, and artist.

License to Play  is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed  Master in City and Technology in 2021/2022
Students: Julia McGee, Maria Magkavali and Maria Augusta Kroetz
Faculty: Nicolay Boyadjiev