Camden Council voted on 11 November to introduce punitive measures against buskers in the borough from early 2014.
The Musicians’ Union attended the council hearing to support its busking members in the borough, but the policy was voted through by a 26 to 17 majority. This means that buskers will have to pay for licences in order to busk and will risk large fines and having their instruments confiscated if they fail to adhere to the requirements of the policy.
Dave Webster, MU National Organiser for Live Performance, says:
“It is a real shame that just a year after the Live Music Act was brought in to encourage the performance of live music that Camden Council has decided to bring in these draconian measures against busking.
“Live music is an integral part of London’s identity and the onerous and potentially expensive requirements that Camden is placing on buskers will threaten the borough’s vibrant atmosphere. The references to ‘noise’ and ‘nuisance’ in Camden’s policy are particularly unhelpful and do not reflect the positive cultural contribution made by buskers to London life. The borough has given in to complaints made by a small group of residents who live on and around Camden High Street, which is inevitably a loud place to live irrespective of busking.
“We urge Camden Council to reconsider this policy and the MU would be happy to work with them to establish a code of best practice for busking, as we did in places like Liverpool.”
Posted: November 12, 2013