Code of Conduct

DISCLAIMER: MusiMetroMontreal’s original web site is in French and the English translation of the code of conduct provided here is solely for reference purposes. Should there be any discrepancies between the English translation and the French original, the latter shall prevail.

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Applies to all musicians (members of the MMMA and non-members).

The current code of conduct, adopted by the MMMA, is the result of an agreement between musicians. Almost all of these rules have been in effect since the 1980s. Since then, they have become the standard. The goal of these regulations is to give an equal opportunity to each musician, for an equal share of the designated areas. Therefore, all musicians must rely on the goodwill and respect of those who perform in the Montreal Metro.
Aussi ces Principes et règles de courtoisie du musicien du métro complètent la bonne harmonie entre musiciens!


1- Rules of the MMMA:

For the purposes of these regulations, a group (3 musicians or more) have neither more or less rights or obligations than a solo musician. Also, a duo or group is always considered a single entity and must follow the same regulations as solo musicians.

1.1 Spaces for musicians.

1.1.1 The areas designated for musicians are identified by a blue panel with a white lyre. These panels, attached to the wall, mark the spaces where musicians may play.

1.1.2 To comply with security rules, it is not permitted for musicians to occupy a large amount of space. Equipment must occupy less than 2 metres in length and 1.6 metres (5 feet) from the wall behind the musician.

1.1.3 The musician occupying the space must always leave sufficient space (place themselves slightly to the left or right of the panel, but not directly underneath) for those who need access to the panel.

1.2 The list.


The first musician who arrives that day create the list on a paper of his or her choice. The musicians writes their name at the desired hour. They must leave spaces for the musicians who would like to sign up at other spots. The musicians must then slide the list between the wall and the lyre. (photo: Joaquin Cabello Aguilar)

1.2.1 The official list, written on specialized MMMA paper or written on a paper brought by the musician, must be created each day by the first musician who accesses the space and who would like to reserve a time at the space. The musician must indicate the date in an obvious place (on the top or bottom of the list) and write the prescribed hours in a column on the left. Next, the musician must write their name or MMMA card number directly next to the desired time.

1.2.2 All lists are in effect for a single day. The musician must sign up on the day itself, except for spaces at Berri-UQAM (see point 1.5).

1.2.3 Each musician or group may reserve a single spot a day.

N.B. For several spaces, two or three lists are hidden close to the panels in spots known by regulars. In the case of a discrepancy, it permits the musician to confirm his or her reservation.

1.3 Reserving a space.

1.3.1 Spaces are reserved by the musician writing their name or MMMA card number next to the desired time, among the free times on the day list.

1.3.2 A musician may reserve several times, at different times and different spaces, on the condition they honour each of their reservations.

1.3.3 It is forbidden to reserve a space for other musicians. The rule may be waived in exceptional circumstances with the official authorization of the president or executive committee of the MMMA.

1.3.4 A musician signed up for 6:30am, 7:00am, or 7:30am (first time of the day) have the option, if they choose, to start playing earlier at the spaces where it is permitted to play starting at 6:00am.

1.3.5 A musician loses their reservation if they are more than 30 minutes late, with exception. He space then becomes free and any musician may play.

1.3.6 A musician who anticipates being late by no more than one hour, must indicate the expected time of arrival on the list, just before his name. Those who wish to leave for a short break (between 5 – 20 minutes) must make a note on the list in order to maintain their priority for the given time.

1.4 Time slots of 2 or 3 hours.

1.4.1 In most of the stations around downtown (south stations), the times begin at 7:30am the time slots are 2 hours. In most of the north stations, from Snowdon to Côte-Vertu and Laurier to Montmorency, the time slots are 3 hours. Before reserving a time, the musician must write the proper time slots for the station (beginning time and time slots of 2 or 3 hours).

1.4.2 The time slots indicated on the list can never be changed, without exception. For example, a musician arriving late for their reserved time may not make up for lost time by encroaching on the following musician’s reserved time.

1.5 Berri-UQAM station.

1.5.1 For the four spaces at Berri-UQAM station, a draw is held every night at 23:00 to determine the order in which the musicians present will reserve the time slots and spaces for the next day. The musician’s MMMA card is placed in a bag or hat for a first round. A musician draws the card of the first musician who makes their choice, that musician then draws the next card, and so forth. For the second round, the draw works in the same manner.

1.5.2 A musician who was not present at the nighty draw may reserve a space among the available time slots the next day, like at all other stations.

1.5.3 A musician may not play more than 2 spaces a day at this station.

2- Rules on the code of ethics:

Each musician, member or non-member of the MMMA, represents all metro musicians to the commuters and the employees of the metro. Each must be aware that they are, for the public including children, examples and role models. His or her talent, certainly, but also their demeanour and attitude project a public image. This is why each musician must make an effort to show what we really are: artists that promote pleasure, happiness, and life’s little joys.

2.1 Musicians must present themselves at their space in clean state of dress.

2.2 Consumption of drugs and/or alcohol is strictly prohibited.

2.3 No musician may sit directly on the floor. It is permitted to sit on a rug or piece of material, a stool or a chair, but not on a newspaper.

2.4 Politeness and a sense of respect are a must at all times, between musicians themselves and commuters and employees of the metro.

2.5 A musician who finds that a crowd is gathering around them must stop playing and ask the listeners to disperse so as not to obstruct the flow of others.

2.6 Musicians may not use the power outlets at the metro stations. All amplification and electric instruments must be battery powered.

2.7 No loud percussion or instruments that are shrill, irritating, or disturbing the peace is permitted in most stations.

2.8 The sound level generated by the musician must, at all times, respect common sense and the public. The metro stations are not concert halls.

2.9 All musicians must perform a varied repertoire, lasting at least a half hour, and avoid constant repetition of the same piece (to respect the employees and vendors who can not avoid hearing the musicians).

2.10 All musicians must respect the directives given by officers of the metro.

2.11 All musicians must respect the rules of the MMMA, and guidelines issued by representatives.

2.12 All musicians are also required to respect the regulations established by the STM.

3- Rules of the STM:

Just like the users of the metro system, musicians must respect certain basic rules established by the STM. These rules cover, in addition to transport, the conduct of persons in vehicles and buildings of the STM. They cover also the passes used for the transit system of the STM. Regulations affecting musicians in particular are: Réglement CA-3 (and specifically articles CA-3 13.01 and CA-3 13.02), on musicians of the metro, and particularly protecting the rights of non-smokers. The rules of the STM are also of interest.

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