Sunday 23 October 2016

Public feedback from overseas on busking could be declared invalid

Busker Bogdan Rusin
Busker Bogdan Rusin

Thousands of people have weighed in on the proposed changes to bye-laws for buskers in the capital - but their submissions may not all be valid.

Dublin band Key West and the Dublin City Buskers, an organisation which formed to lobby for less restrictive rules, have led a successful media campaign to urge the public to have their say on the bye-laws during a six-week consultation period.

The first ever rules governing street performance were ­introduced by Dublin City Council last year and they now face further tweaking after undergoing a six-month review.

A report was presented to local representatives which suggested adding to the rules, including a limit of one-hour performance time at one location and expanding restricted areas.

It also included rules that buskers will have to pay extra for an amp permit if they want to use them, and only dance acts and circus performers will be allowed to use backing tracks.

The public consultation on the rules ended on Friday, ­February 12 and council officials are now sifting through the large volumes of emails received.

However, some of those submitted came from abroad and the council will now have to determine if people who live outside Ireland are entitled to have their say on a local law.

Work is underway to compile those submissions which are considered valid to prepare a report for councillors on the Arts Strategic Policy Committee of the council.

Any changes to the law will also have to go to an upcoming full ­council meeting to be agreed. This is expected to take place in April.

In a statement the Dublin City Buskers group welcomed more than 5,500 submissions made during the consultation.


"The volume of submissions to Dublin City Council in support of Dublin City Buskers and fair, equitable and dignified treatment for street performers in Dublin has been overwhelming," they said.

"This backing from ­everyday citizens and visitors has ­solidified, spurned action, and raised hopes of more than 300 members of Dublin City ­Buskers."

"We're going through a process and it's good that everyone has their say," Labour councillor Mary Freehill, who oversaw the implementation of the rules in 2015, told the Herald.

Dublin City Council previously emphasised that the council has no intention of banning busking or other street performances.

"We are committed to encouraging and preserving street performance and we recognise the vibrancy it brings to the city," it said.

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