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4th Jul, 2022

Buskers warned to play by the rules

Catherine Thompson 26th Apr, 2017 Updated: 26th Apr, 2017

BUSKERS are being warned to play by the rules in Stratford – or face the consequences.

Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) is looking to tighten up its busker’s code of conduct following further nuisance complaints. Noise is the main problem, particularly those street performers who use amplification.

The revision comes as two performers recently physically fought over a lucrative pitch on Waterside in front of stunned passers-by. Police were called to the scene following the incident which was broken up by a trader at the market which was operating on the day. Footage on social media attracted many comments from locals, including those appalled by the public display.

Stratforward director Joe Baconnet said a revision of the code would make it easier for police, council chiefs and Stratforward to clampdown on performers by reinforcing part of the code – which is currently voluntary – with legislation.

Mr Baconnet explained: “We try to maintain a happy medium, some performers with gentler sounding instruments are fine with amplifiers, but there are some who don’t need them or some who might stand in a doorway of a business that cause a problem.

“While buskers are part of the fabric of the town, they should not be dominant.”

The clampdown will also enforce limitations on pitches and on buskers reserving spots with their belongings.

The town is a magnate for street performers from far and wide owing to the large number of tourists who visit throughout the year. Buskers say they can make up to £50 a day performing on the town’s streets.

But former mayor Cyril Bennis is among those who have had an earful and who has called for a clampdown on the use of amplification.

He has already urged Stratford District Council to consider introducing a bylaw to stop the practice. He also wants them to bring in a permit system for buskers.

Visit www.stratforward.co.uk/busking for information and busking guidelines.

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