What it’s like to play music in New York’s subways for cash


Busking, or performing for donations, is legal.Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

For New York City musicians, performing in the subway can provide extra pocket cash, a chance to practice their art, promotion until they stumble on the next opportunity, or even a modestly-paying career.

Performing for donations, also called busking, is legal ever since the constitutionality of a Depression-era ban was challenged in 1970 by poet Allen Ginsburg.

In 2013, we spoke to and photographed some of New York City’s subway musicians.

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