What is the state of the art of Street Culture? Just when it was looking like street artists and buskers were enjoying an upsurge of public support and interest around the world it now becomes clear that the same issues successfully being resolved in cities such as London, York, Somerville, Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere are being inflamed by apparently repressive minded governments in places long thought of as street culture havens such as San Francisco, New York and Dublin.
One of the large issues that both sides are reluctant to debate but which lies at the heart of the street culture movement is quality of craft and where the best performers should perform. To address this issue bureaucrats have begun to mandate auditions for politicians.
Today a Vancouver publication ran an editorial. It is in The Province; http://blogs.theprovince.com “Governments should quit hassling buskers” In the piece the author asks what business is it of the government judging talent contest and deciding who can perform on their streets and who cannot. By the way, whose streets are these anyway? We agree in part with The Province that a way needs to be found for the free market of ideas should decide what people want to experience on their streets. For more insight on the Vancouver and Granville Island debacle taking place in READ The Tyee.
Dublin today is deciding on whether to adopt new rules and abandon the voluntary code of conduct currently in force.
- Artists cannot use flames or objects such as knives, swords or axes
- Performances must take place within 10 feet of the outer edge of a building
- Musicians cannot use amps that are more than 15 watts
- Drums are prohibited
- No street performances allowed between 11pm and 11am, with the exception of Temple Bar and Grafton St where performances can continue until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays
- Punishments include a fine of €75 which can rise to €1,500 if not paid on time
It is now about 7pm in Dublin the laws as stated here will kill areas of good busking in Dublin, and impose a more artificially manipulated less vital culture.
St Louis is also about to enact a similar set of unworkable and lazy laws for the convenience of bureaucrats and the inconvenience of the people.