herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Buskers can perform on street for one hour then must move on

New rules for city's buskers
New rules for city's buskers

Buskers will have their street performance times cut in half under modified bye-laws.

Musicians in Dublin will have just one hour to sing on their favourite street corners before packing up their instruments.

Some complaints centred on buskers over-staying their two-hour limit in a location. Council officials said they found it "exasperating" trying to establish when buskers began their performances.

New provisional rules issued by Dublin City Council in April allowed buskers to perform in a single spot for two hours.

But members of the council's Arts, Culture, Recreations and Community Committee decided yesterday that permitted performance times should be halved to one hour. But the councillors refused to ban amplifiers used by the buskers.

Complaints

Cllr Jim O'Callaghan told the Herald that council officials no longer believed that buskers should be allowed use the amplifiers because of complaints about noise levels.

Cllr O'Callaghan, committee chairwoman Rebecca Moynihan and Cllr Mannix Flynn all voted to ban amplifiers, but the majority voted to retain them, he said.

The bye-laws, which were to be reviewed after six months, will go before a full meeting of the council before being the subject of a public consultation.

A report by the council's assistant chief executive Brendan Kenny stated that the majority of complaints about buskers dealt with excessive volumes, congestion, a "lack of talent" in some instances and limited repertoires.

Amplifier

Ordinary busking permits cost €30 and amplifier permits cost €60 each. The use of amplifiers "polarised" public opinion.

The report stated the council was committed to "encouraging and preserving street performances and recognised the vibrancy it brought to the city."

Overall, there had been 95pc compliance with the new bye-laws since April. Some 110 warning notices were issued to performers and 30 fines were issued by mid-October. Two performers had their permits revoked.

A special permit will be introduced for Grafton Street because of the popularity of the area for buskers. Dance troupes, circus acts and bands of more than three will be restricted to the St Stephen's Green area of Grafton Street to ease complaints about severe congestion on the street.

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