Galway City Council to vote on busking restrictions

Busking at High Street

Galway City Tribune – Less than one day after the city’s most famous busker plays to two sell-out crowds in Pearse Stadium, the City Council will consider the introduction of by-laws imposing restrictions on street performers.

Proposed restrictions to be put before the City Council on Monday would have prevented Ed Sheeran performing on the streets of the city back in 2005 as a 14-year-old, unless his parents had secured a permit for him.

The pressure to put ‘some sort of order’ on street performers – mainly along Shop Street – has come mainly from the local business and retail sector who claim that their trade can be adversely affected by some aspects of busking.

But a former Mayor of the city, has warned that the City Council needs to tread very warily unless it ends up sending out a completely negative message about one of the massive selling points of the city.

“When Ed Sheeran played in the city back in 2015 as a 13 or 14-year-old, if we had the by-laws – as now proposed – in place, then this wouldn’t have happened.

“His parents or guardian would have had to have applied for a permit for him to play as an under-16. This is the great danger of trying to introduce by-laws for busking – we may end up taking the newness or spontaneity out of the whole thing,” said Cllr. Conneely.

One of the city’s buskers contacted by the Galway City Tribune, Cian O’Connell, said that the Galway Busking Community had already drawn up their own code of conduct as regards eight different aspects of their work.

Under this, busking would only take place between 9am and 10pm (11pm summer); the maximum performance time on any slot would be two hours; an orderly queuing system for buskers would be adhered to; while entrance/access points as well as emergency exits would not be blocked.

He said that in the Code of Conduct, the street performers ‘to the best of their ability’ would manage any crowd watching the act and ensure that the street was passable in this area.
To read the rest of this article, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.