Noisy York buskers silenced as pioneering new guidelines prove a success

23 Jul 2015 @ 9.15 pm
| News

Loud buskers who had caused a noise nuisance were stopped and told to move on in a successful application of York’s pioneering street entertainment guidelines.

It comes in the same week as those guidelines were recognised nationally.

The group of buskers, including a keyboard player with an amp, a clarinetist, a saxophonist and a trumpeter, had set up outside Barclays Bank on the corner of Parliament Street and High Ousegate on Monday (July 20).

Because they were particularly loud and persistent a number of people complained. But the group ignored requests to turn the volume down.

Another York street entertainer, violinist Rupert Engledow, said “this particular band have been flouting the new guidelines, have been threatening and rude, bullying and inflexible with other buskers, street-traders, businesses, council personnel and members of the public”.

In accordance with A Guide To Busking in York, drawn up earlier this year, someone complained to the city centre team.

The buskers had been ignoring York’s new guidelines
The buskers had been ignoring York’s new guidelines

They approached the buskers and tried to resolve the issue. When they refused, new city centre manager Chris Price issued them with warning letter. Together with a Police Community Support Officer the group was told to stop and move on.

“We welcome busking in the city, however, it’s important we aim to support a culture of consideration for others too,” said Chris.

After several complaints about “elevated noise levels” they were able to deal with it swiftly and effectively.

The guidelines put in place are there to help create an enjoyable ambience in the city, whilst encouraging musicians to exercise care, consideration and good judgement when busking in York.

By working together, we can ensure that the city centre continues to offer an enjoyable and pleasant atmosphere for everyone.

‘Fantastic musicians’

“They are fantastic musicians,” said Rupert, who has encountered the same group of buskers in Cambridge and other cities.

“The problem is them not being part of the community, and the rudeness, the volume and the longevity. They have been spoken to but they have chosen no to pay attention to the new guidelines.”

York’s new busking guidelines were heralded as the way forward by the Musician’s Union this week.

Busker and singer-songwriter Jonny Walker, who regularly performs in York, put forward a motion to the union’s conference which was unanimously accepted.

It urged that the busking guides created in York and Liverpool be used as

a working template for a national policy on busking, seeking to replace restrictive policies wherever they exist with more open and fair ones based around this model.