Monday 20 November 2017

Buskers face the music under strict new performance code

A 10-piece ensemble of teenage buskers from Clontarf who perform during their summer holidays play traditional music on Dublin’s Grafton Street yesterday.
A 10-piece ensemble of teenage buskers from Clontarf who perform during their summer holidays play traditional music on Dublin’s Grafton Street yesterday.

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

RELYING on 'The Fields Of Athenry' and 'Wonderwall' will no longer be enough -- buskers must now have a repertoire of at least 20 songs if they want to perform on the streets of Dublin.

That's according to a new Street Performance Code being launched today.

Performers will not be allowed to "hog or monopolise a performance site", and will not be allowed to set up within 50 metres of each other.

However, drummers face the biggest restrictions -- the code states: "As drum kits cannot be turned down in volume, and are found to be causing regular complaints, then acts will be asked to replace these kits with an unamplified 'cajon' percussion instrument".

But performers should be aware that "any performer who does not adhere to the Street Performer Code will be subjected to legal enforcement proceedings" by Dublin City Council.

Proposed by Dublin's Street Performers and developed with local traders and Dublin City Council, the new code will be piloted for three months until the end of October.

Sing-song

And a late-night sing-song is out of the question, as "performances are only permitted from 11am to 11pm".

The exception is Temple Bar and Grafton Street, where performances can take place up to 3am on weekends only.

Dublin City Council Arts Officer Ray Yeates said: "This voluntary code honours the unique contribution that buskers make to city life while asking them to respect their fellow citizens and adjoining businesses.

"The code is for everyone to adopt and discuss and in three months' time it will be reviewed by the council."

But human statues, pavement artists and balloon modellers are excluded from the time limit and certain other restrictions.

Cllr Gerry Breen, representing the Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise O Muiri, will officially launch the voluntary code of practice today at the top of Grafton Street by St Stephen's Green, at 12.45pm.

As well as entertainment, the launch will give street performers and business people the opportunity to get information on the code.

Irish Independent

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