You've seen them before, inside the metro station, singing their hearts out, artistically asking for some spare change. They are the public performers of Montreal, the buskers of the city, the musicians of the metro, yadda yadda yadda.
But who or what regulates these seemingly impromptu performances? Well, looking at the MusiMetroMontreal organization's code of conduct, there's a few rules to follow.
If you've ever wanted to busk in Montreal, or just want to know how metro-musical acts are organized, everything you need to know is below.
Anyone can play music/perform under these signs in any metro station.
Musicians can't take up too much space with equipment (less than 2 metres in length and 1.6 metres from the wall)
A list of performers is created, daily, by the first musician who arrives to a designated spot.
It's first come first serve, so buskers may come as early as 5:30am to start the list at busy stations like Peel.
All lists last for only for one day.
You can make multiple reservations on a list, at different times at multiple areas, as long as you show up.
No one can reserve a spot for another musician.
If someone isn't at their reserved spot, and its been longer than 30 minutes, a new performer can take the spot.
Downtown metro station lists begin at 7:30am, with 2 hour time slots.
Northern stations (Snowdown-Côte-Vertu & Laurier-Montmorency) time slots are 3 hours.
Berri-UQAM has a special list procedure: a draw is held the night before to determine the times and spaces for the next day.
Any spot labelled with "Les Etoiles Du Metro" are reserved for members of MusiMetroMontreal.
No performer is allowed to (visibly) consume drugs or alcohol, ever.
You can't sit directly on the floor, but rugs/stools/chairs are allowed.
If you really rock, and get a huge crowd, you'll have to stop playing and disperse the crowd to allow flow out/in the metro.
All equipment must be battery powered, no using the metro's outlets.
Money earned is solely based on the vibes of the metro, and there's no guarantee you'll get anything.
Will you be busking now?
For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte