To Amp or Not To Amp

That is the question for cities all around the world as street performing and regulating street culture finds its way on the government issues list. Even as the public’s view of street performing has been evolving from public nuisance to public asset the excessive noise in areas of heavy busking continues to draw criticism. Amplification is the biggest target and has been banned only with a great deal of protest from performers and also some merchants and community groups.

Stephanie Pilon Stephanie Pilon video of an acoustic performer in Byward Market Ottawa Canada

In Ottawa, the Ottawa Citizen reports that the performers in the prime performance area of Byward Market are themselves divided on the point of amplification. Understandably they break down along highly predictable lines with non-amplified performers having no problem with the no amplification law and those who need amplification being understandably upset.

Sarel Alafi Sarel Alafi Street acrobats and dancers such as the troupe pictured in this video also performing at ByWard Market will be totally out of business if the anti amplification law is enforced. Do you think that the large crowd enjoying this performance are being bothered because of the amplification?

A lot of times the problem is possibly a matter of musical taste and not the actual volume of the performance. as with this amazing guitarist  featured in this video by bigsugar999 bigsugar999 If you love loud virtuoso guitar playing while you shop or dine however if you are looking to get a little peace and relaxation or are the merchant who wants to clearly hear the customer talking in the store where this musician is playing, it could be a problem.

The solution in many places cities like Copenhagen Denmark, York UK and Raleigh North Carolina among others is to find places where amplification is appropriate desired and workable. We hope Ottawa will find the compromise it needs to advance in street culture regulation.

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