GLASTONBURY music festival has some competition – in the form of buskers from Stratford.
Former Stratford mayor Cyril Bennis says the noise made by buskers on Waterside can be ‘louder than Glastonbury’ and he has received a number of complaints from disgruntled residents about the volume.
Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) – which is responsible for overseeing busking – ask buskers to abide by a voluntary code of conduct which includes their music not being audible more than 30 metres away.
But many are flouting the rules and turn their amps and PA systems up so loud it ‘echoes’ around the area.
Mr Bennis said: “Busking is a long held tradition and people like to hear them show off their talent.
“Waterside often has buskers everywhere, but sometimes you can hear them right across the river. It is worse than Glastonbury at times and it doesn’t have to be such a sophistication of noise.”
Shopkeepers have also complained about the volume, saying at times they cannot even hear their customers and have had to ask buskers to turn it down.
Stratforward is urging performers to adhere to a code of conduct so music is not too loud, but say there is little they can do to stop those who ignore the rules.
A spokeswoman said: “It’s a really complex issue as the code of conduct is voluntary and relies on the goodwill of buskers. The vast majority stick to the limit and turn the volume down if asked.
“There is nothing we can formally do about it. If we take it further it could mean a total ban on buskers.”
In the busker code of conduct it reads: “Whilst every effort is made to ensure this code is followed by every street entertainer, it is obviously not possible to monitor each and every performance. We rely on the goodwill and professionalism of all our performers, as well as that of residents, businesses and visitors in the town.”