City's buskers face sound test: Bath has drawn up a code of practice to curb the 'continual bombardment of sound' from street musicians. Andrew Mourant reports
Tuesday 13 July 1993
Councillors have approved a code of practice devised by environmental health officials and the police to curb the excesses of street musicians and other performers.
The authorities have been inundated with complaints about the 'continual bombardment of sound' from one or two particular pitches. The code is designed to reinforce and explain by-laws on noise levels. It lays down that drums should not be used unless a 'minor part of the total actor performance' and that entertainers should stand a minimum of 50 metres apart. Any entertainer should stop performing if requested by a council official or police officer.
The original proposals would have banned entertainers from playing at any one pitch for more than an hour a day. 'But we rejected that because we felt it a bit Draconian,' said Peter Goodhart, chairman of Bath City Council environmental committtee.
Stall Street and Union Street, the heart of Bath's shopping area, are frequently brought to a standstill on Saturdays by buskers and throngs of onlookers.
Trevor Quantock, manager of W H Smith, said: 'Sometimes you have elderly or disabled people fighting to get into the shop and I find that very frustrating.
'I think possibly we have lost some custom. I don't mind a musical busker but sometimes it is just a constant din. We had a bloke playing the drums outside incessantly and it was like a form of Chinese torture.'
The code has had a lukewarm response from buskers. One member of Swamp Donkey, an acoustic country blues band that performs regularly on the streets, said: 'The only complaint we've had is when someone at Body Shop rang up because we were playing while they were having a board meeting.'
He added that buskers would have undermined the proposed ban on playing more than an hour at any one location by getting together and swapping pitches.
Recently the idea of introducing a similar system to Covent Garden, where buskers are licensed and allowed to occupy their pitch only after passing an audition, was floated by David Pratley, Bath's director of leisure and tourist services.
Howard Nowell, the city's principal environmental health officer, said the aim was not to run buskers out of town. 'We have a good atmosphere and street scene in Bath. But we have devised this code with the police because we want to reduce the time we spend dealing with complaints that arise from busking.'
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...
£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...