I arrived there fairly early on on a friday afternoon, so after checking in at the Youth Hostel StayOkay just alongside the river and not far from the town center, I had time to go out and try out a first evening busk.
Maastricht didn't disapoint one bit: after the first song, which was Out on the weekend by Neil Young, a crowd had gathered around in a circle, applauded at the end of the song, and money started flowing in! I played there for about an hour and a half and had one of my best busking sessions to date :) Things seemed very promising for the week end to come.
As usual I hadn't really inquired about the rules for busking in Maastricht: I had read stories from other buskers and nobody seemed to know exactly how it works. As usual nobody seemed to bother with a permit and didn't seem to have had any issues, although some said you needed one and it cost about 20 euros, which is a lot!
So anyhow I went back the second day, it was a saturday, to set up my busking rig in the same street as the previous evening, only a bit higher up so as not to bother too much the same shops twice. Again a closed shop provided a great spot for me.
I'd hardly started setting up that some kind of street patrol guys (not cops) came and asked me if I had a permit. In this kind of situation the only rule is to play nice, and say that basically you didn't know a permit was required to play there. If you are nice about it there usually is no problem, and all you have to do is ak where and how to get the permit, and pack up your stuff. These guys were nice about it and so there was no problem, although they told me that the permit in fact does cost 20 euros. This sort of put me off a bit, but then I thought well maybe this is worth it if I make as much momey as the day before. But the real setback came when I asked where to go for the permit, which is basically the townhall, and they told me it was closed on weekends.
My week end of busking in Maastricht was thus over, as I couldn't get the permit before monday, and monday I had to get a move on towards Germany. This left me fustrated, mostly because the busking would have been great probably, but still I couldn't take the risk to go back without the permit if ever I fell on the same guys again, for this time I would get a fine! (I don't know how much)
It is a matter of luck really, but I learned my lesson in Maastricht: for a big and potentially profitable city on weekends, whenerver it is possible, I will enquire about permits and stuff before hands. Had it fallen in the middle of the week it would have been fine and I would have been able to get the permit, but as it turned out...
Still I got a great busking session out of it anyway, and then made the most of it visiting the town and its surrounding during the week end, thus spending most of my busking sessions earnings, but hey, that's what it's there for right ;-)