Stricter laws for Dublin’s street performers to be introduced
Buskers in Dublin will no longer be allowed to use backing tracks after new laws introduced by the council come into effect.
The rules will come into effect on 1 August. The changes are part of a review of street performance by-laws which were introduced last year.
Performers will no longer be able to enhance their act with ‘karaoke style accompaniment’.
While Ireland’s capital city has a huge number of talented musicians – a fact acknowledged by the council – the review also found that performers caused ‘significant daily problems and discomfort’ for many residents, businesses and pedestrians.
Another by-law that is to be introduced will ensure that any performers must have a significant repertoire of songs. There will be no repetition of any song in a 30 minute period allowed.
However, the council voted against a ban on buskers amplifying their performance across the city. This is despite the majority of complaints from the public being related to noise from backing tracks and amplifiers.
Fine Gael, believe it would be ‘almost impossible to police levels of amplification’. The decision to reject a ban on amplification came after performers raised concerns at the street performance forum, and a meeting of the arts, culture and recreation strategic policy committee.
Content in songs has come into review. There will be a ban on ‘lewd, offensive or racist language or conduct’.
The review was written by Vincent Norton, who is the acting assistant chief executive at Dublin City Council.
Mr Norton said: “A constant quandary in this issue is the many divergent views on street performance and the difficulty in achieving reasonable consensus or balance between those who enjoy the animation and vibrancy of street performance and those who view it as an annoyance and an irritant.”
Other laws prohibit performers for playing for over an hour in certain parts of the city, while dance acts, circle acts and large bands are now restricted to the St Stephen’s Green end of Grafton Street.
The council are still reviewing whether performers should be allowed to sell CDs and other merchandise.
Under the new laws, this video featuring Bono would still be OK, as long as he has a large enough repertoire to last 30 minutes with no repeats that is!