herald

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Busking by-laws come into force with just 20 complaints to council

Martin Harte
Martin Harte
Buskers

Twenty complaints, relating to street performers have been registered with the city council, since Dublin's busking by-laws came into force last week.

According to Dublin City Council (DCC), which is charged with enforcing the regulations, 20 complaints have been made since April 7.

The spokeswoman for the council said that they related mostly to noise levels.

"We have had 20 complaints to date and the majority of these related to volume and performers staying longer than two hours in the same location," she told the Herald.

The by-laws state that, "the sound produced in the immediate vicinity of a street performer or street performers during a performance shall not exceed 80 decibels".

In Temple Bar, which has about 2,000 residents, noise levels cannot exceed 75 decibels.

In terms of the length of time a busker can perform at the one spot, the street artist must now move after two hours.

"A street performer is only permitted to perform in a specific location for a maximum period of two hours in any day. After this two-hour period he/she must re-locate to a different street not within 50 metres of his/her previous location," reads the code enacted last week.

The controversial by-laws were voted in last February with 35 of DCC councillors in favour and 17 against.

The most debated point was the sound level and whether amplification should be permitted at all.

The DCC spokeswoman said 97 street performance permits, at €30 each, and 42 amplification permits at €60 each, have been issued to date to buskers and entertainers.

Martin Harte, CEO of the Temple Bar Company, told the Herald that he is monitoring the situation.

"We are taking a long view on this and seeing what happens over the course of the summer and are happy to review it at that stage," he said.

The Temple Bar Company represents businesses and voluntary and cultural groups in the area.

DCC said it are also monitoring the situation closely.

"The by-laws are in force for just one week. As these are new laws at the moment we are concentrating on making performers aware of what is required of them.

"DCC staff are on the streets meeting buskers and monitoring performance locations and, where amplification is used, the sound level of the performances," said the council spokeswoman.

"It will take a longer period than just one week to establish what effect the by-laws will have on the noise level in the city," she added.

They are due for review in October. Before the by-laws were drawn up there was city-wide consultation with DCC receiving 88 submissions in total.

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