BUSKERS in Stratford are being forced to play by the rules.
A new policy has been drawn up by Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) alongside the Musicians Union over the use of powerful amplification following increased complaints from residents and businesses, and in some cases, even other buskers.
The policy provides step-by-step instructions on dealing with complaints which can be elevated to Stratford District Council if necessary through a procedure known as a Community Protection Notice.
The procedure is underpinned by an anti-social behaviour legislation aimed to prevent anti-social behaviour impacting on people going about their day to day business.
Stratforward BID director Joe Baconnet said: “This does not mean that buskers are not welcome in Stratford, far from it. Our street entertainers are famous across the globe and loved by the millions of visitors who flock here every year.
“In recent times a small minority have seemingly disregarded the previous policy and caused problems for visitors and local businesses as well as fellow buskers who do adhere to them.
“While the majority of buskers are a wonderful addition to Stratford’s street, this policy will make it easier to enforce against the small minority who cause a persistent, negative impact on businesses or the public.
“We try and ensure this policy is followed by every busker, but we rely on the goodwill and professionalism of all our performers, as well as that of residents, businesses and visitors in the town to ensure that things run smoothly and for everyone’s benefit.”
He added the policy would provide a quick solution and eliminate the need for confrontation while also ensuring performers were treated fairly.
In addressing the concerns around amplification the policy reads: “There are no specific rules on decibel levels or on use of amplification, however it is expected that your performance is reasonable and has a positive effect on your surroundings rather than a negative one.”
It also states songs should be varied and consideration should be given to nearby residents and employees.
Visit www.stratforward.co.uk to view the new policy.