Street performance and Dublin City Council bylaws
There is a group of individuals who claim they represent all buskers who have been putting out misinformation, not just about Dublin City Council, but about me in an unjust and inaccurate attempt to demonise and label me as anti-busking and anti-culture. This is not true.
Firstly, nobody, is attempting or has suggested banning busking or street performance. At present, there is a document in the public domain seeking observations and suggestions with regards how we manage the public domain in relation to street performance. This is part of the democratic process of enshrining the rights of street performers while on the other hand maintaining a balance in the public domain which is also the workplace and home for thousands of people.
Over the years many residents and workers have complained to Dublin City Council and public representatives about the unbearable noise levels at certain locations in the city – mainly Grafton Street, Temple Bar, Henry Street and the GPO.
Having tried a voluntary code of conduct with regards performers’ noise levels, the City Council decided it was appropriate to create a series of bylaws to help to manage the public domain more effectively. These bylaws were enacted into law a year ago with a review period that would fix any blaring omissions or further complaints.
The concerns at present mainly relate to amplification and noise levels and a general wish by many residents and workers to ban amplification which, as well as being a nuisance, drowns out acoustic buskers. I am not against busking, but, like the residents and workers in the city centre, I support this ban on amplification.
This whole process has been democratic, open and transparent where everyone gets heard – unlike on Grafton Street or Temple Bar sometimes when you can only hear the noise that is so loud your head hurts. Anybody interested can read a copy of the new bylaws under consideration before they are voted upon and the voting process itself can be viewed by all when they are discussed at length in Dublin City Council at the Arts Strategic Policy Committee which is webcast live and available online to view after the meeting also.
Rest assured that Street performance and busking will always be a feature on Dublin and Irish streets and Irish culture is the richer for it.
I hope this clarifies some of the issues, even if it doesn’t stop the devious few who want to undermine me and who last year smashed the window of my former studio on Ormond Quay and graffitied disgusting comments all over the building.
Long live busking. Long live street performance. Long live a safe and healthy work place for all.