Scottish Daily Mail

Hate ‘nuisance buskers’? Here’s chance to sound off

- By George Mair

THEY are a regular sight in the ‘festival city’, where they are enjoyed by some people – but loathed by others.

Now City of Edinburgh Council has launched a survey to determine whether a new bylaw is required to deal with ‘nuisance buskers’.

People who live and work in the capital are being asked to report their experience­s of buskers in spots such as the Royal Mile, Grassmarke­t and Princes Street.

The survey asks whether buskers should be allowed to perform in public places for fun, for money or to try out new material, with respondent­s asked if they have ever complained to a police or council officer.

The responses will be used to decide if the council needs additional powers ‘to manage the amplificat­ion of sound and nuisance busking’.

Val Walker, the council’s culture and communitie­s convener, said: ‘Edinburgh has always been a vibrant and colourful city and entertaine­rs add great character to our streets, particular­ly during the August festivals. The capital welcomes buskers and street entertaine­rs who liven up the city and who follow the council’s advice to be good neighbours and keep noise levels to a reasonable level.

‘However, we also recognise that there is negative noise impact by the overamplif­ication of sound by some buskers and street entertaine­rs in public spaces, particular­ly in the city centre.’

She added: ‘We want to make sure we’ve got the most uptodate feedback from citizens and are doing all we can to allow both the performers and those nearby who may be impacted to coexist.’ Busking is currently allowed in the city from 9am9pm as long as the volume is at a level that does not disturb residents or businesses.

Guidelines state buskers must move to a new pitch at least 150ft away after one hour and stop if anyone complains or if asked to do so by police or a council officer. Those not complying risk being charged and having their equipment seized.

Buskers and street performers do not need a licence but Police Scotland has said previously that it receives ‘a considerab­le amount of complaints’.

The survey results are due in October.

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