Street performer in Galway , Source: Klean Chad / Unsplash

New laws in Killarney ban street acts from singing the same song

New laws in Killarney ban street acts from singing the same song

The new regulation focuses on codifying buskers’ do’s and don'ts, including the prohibition of lewd and racist songs

Today, local authorities in Killarney, Ireland, adopted a new policy for buskers, prohibiting artists from playing the same songs over and over again. The legislation also sets out additional regulations, stating that street performers need to change their location every two hours and a half and many would also need a yearly permit of 30 euros.

According to officials, these measures aim to regulate the quality of street art in the city, while violators could face fines of 75 euros to 1,500 euros. Enforcement of the policy would happen through both the police and the city council, with patrols equipped with sound monitors to test for loudness.

Regulating buskers

To standardise busking and regulate the urban space, the local council in Killarney has introduced several measures to guarantee street performers’ quality. First, designated busking areas include Kenmare Place near the Jarvey stand, Main St and High St, Plunkett St and College St as far as the courthouse, and New St as far as the Bank of Ireland.

Every street performer can stay up to two and a half hours in a given place, after which they need to change location. A valid change is considered no less than 50 metres from their previous spot. This could help more people get to better busking locations.

Additionally, noise should be limited to 80 decibels in performances and street acts will not be allowed to use lewd, offensive, or racist language or conduct (including song lyrics) as part of their act. Furthermore, buskers will no longer be able to rely on a very limited repertoire, such as performing the same song or a select small number.

According to officials, there cannot be street performances outside of the designated areas and busking cannot start before 11 AM. Musicians and street circuses will need a permit, while fortune tellers and temporary tattoo artists will be exempt, saving them 30 euros per year.

All violators are subject to a 75-euro fixed fine, which can balloon up to 1,500 euros if the performers end up in District Court.

Local Mayor Niall Kelleher was quoted by the RTÉ, explaining that street performers are welcome in Killarney, however, he also described the problems that the bill aims to regulate as severe. This may be so, yet harsh punishments and lack of unscripted access to public spaces may lead to a more limited and restricted experience of local street culture.



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