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Sunday 21 January 2018

Dublin band Keywest slapped with fine for exceeding controversial noise limit while busking

Keywest before performing on Grafton Street, Dublin
Keywest before performing on Grafton Street, Dublin
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

They are riding high in the Irish charts, but Keywest's appeals for changes to the busking decibel level rules have fallen on deaf ears.

The five-piece band have been slapped with a fine for exceeding Dublin City Council's controversial noise limits - and it seems that they are not alone in falling foul of the rules.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council said that since its by-laws were introduced last April, a total of 24 fines have been issued for playing above the permitted level of 80 decibels.

"The fine is €75 and is only issued when an earlier warning notice has not been complied with. Eleven fines have been paid to date," the spokesperson said.

Keywest lead singer Andy Kavanagh (28), from Artane in Dublin, told how the band were slapped with a fine of €75 per person for performing at a level over 80 decibels, and the notice also said that they had no permits displayed.

Andy said that they did have the permits with them, but they were in a guitar case while they were performing.

They have already paid the council fine, which was issued in respect of an August performance.

Andy has met with the council about the busking rules several times and another meeting is planned with officials for today.

"The city doesn't want busking removed," he said.

"I am fine with rules that work and we are happy to talk to them about rules that work.

"The decibel level is unachievable. If I am singing without a microphone, without an amp, just acoustically on the street, I would be hitting 90 to 95 decibels from 15 feet away."

It is done differently in other cities, he said.

"In Santa Monica, it's 107 decibels from one foot," Andy added.

The group are currently number two in the official album charts with their second album Joyland.

Busking appeals falling on deaf ears as Keywest pay decibel fine

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