2020 Directors’ Report

2020 Directors’ Report

Keep Streets Live Campaign (KSL) is a small, performer-led campaign organisation which advocates for public spaces which are open to informal offerings of art and music and opposes the criminalisation of street culture. Much of KSL’s work in recent years has centred on challenging the misuse of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) which are being used to criminalise a wide range of everyday activities. We are working alongside other groups like Liberty and the Manifesto Club to seek changes to this legislation. 

 

KSL grew out of a grassroots movement, and the not-for-profit company limited by guarantee was set up in December 2013 to support the work of the movement. Much of the day to day work of the company is undertaken in an unpaid capacity by professional buskers, supported by a board of volunteer Directors and a small number of other volunteers.

 

The pandemic dominated much of KSL’s work in 2020. During the year, we publicised the sections of the Coronavirus Act that supported the rights of buskers to continue working. KSL also published guidance for how to remain safe while busking, minimising the risk to both the performer and their audiences. Whenever we heard of councils harassing buskers who were performing safely and legally, we used this guidance as a way of explaining that buskers could continue to work.

 

Our meetings went online as opposed to in-person, while plans for workshops on busking open to all, similar to that which we ran in Manchester in 2019, were delayed on account of the restrictions in place. The same was true of a planned event to launch the successfully negotiated new guidance for Carlisle. We hope to move forward with more ‘live’ events as they become possible again.

 

A new page was set up on KSL social media, dedicated entirely to streaming videos of buskers performing online. Donations were encouraged, and this helped to increase the reach of KSL, as well as providing a vital platform for the buskers who got involved.

 

Other ongoing relationships continued:

  • Liverpool recently published new guidance for busking that avoided introducing any new legislation. KSL represented the interests of buskers throughout and played a key role in developing the guidance, which we feel is a victory for responsible busking.
  • The Westminster campaign picked up pace throughout 2020. Though ultimately unsuccessful in our goal of preventing the new licensing scheme, KSL have been instrumental in bringing together a coalition of street performers who have stood united against the proposals, and continue to fight the licence on the ground. The campaign received a good level of attention in the press, including stories in national publications such as Vice and the Telegraph, with involvement from celebrities such as Eddie Izzard.
  • Peterborough council removed the busking element to their PSPO after pressure from KSL and the local Green Party.
  • Chester Council remain actively engaged with KSL and are keen to put forward guidance that we are happy to put our name to.

 

KSL have also been involved with the ongoing organisation of concerts at Rainbow Junktion and Left Bank, both organisations with a strong sense of social consciousness and community, which fits nicely with the ethos of KSL.

 

Our focus in 2021 will be to continue advocating against the introduction of new legislation against buskers; resuming live events and workshops wherever possible; and campaigning against the increase in privately owned pseudo-public spaces as a way of preventing street performers from working.

 

Directors during 2020:

Weybourne Chester BINGLEY

Nicola Jane HAMBRIDGE

David Michael Simon GRAY

Rev John Howard WALKER

Sarah Michele WALKER

Eryl WHITELEY 

Keep Streets Live presents…

Keep Streets Live presents…

Keep Streets Live is proud to announce we will be extending our partnership with Rainbow Junction in 2021.

Beginning in April we will be providing a regular musical backdrop to entertain and lift the spirits of visitors, customers, staff and volunteers at the project in Leeds.

Rainbow Junktion is a Pay-As-You-Feel community café based at All Hallows’ Church, 24 Regent Terrace, Leeds LS6 1NP

We intercept waste food produce to create healthy meals every Monday, Thursday and Friday for whoever walks in the door. Everyone is welcome.

We have 3 course lunch available, plus WIFI, phone charging and basic food shopping.

www.instagram.com/rainbowjunktion

An eclectic mix of buskers will be performing on the first Monday of each month. All are welcome to come along and enjoy some quality music and some tasty food.  Gigs will also be streamed onto our Keep Streets Live Streams Facebook page for those who are further afield to enjoy.

If you are interested in playing we can make a small payment for expenses and you will be be well fed and watered. Please email contact@keepstreetslive.com to book a slot.

For those who wish to make a donation to support our artists and help to keep the program going please click here

Acts will be announced in due course, with the first date on Mon 5th April.

Mon 5th April

12.00 Chester

1.00 Joseph Moore

2.00 The Burner Band

Mon 7th June 

1.00 Jake Keating 

Mon 2nd August

12.00 Cobalt Tales  

1.00 Jake Keating 

Mon 6th September

12.00 Danielle de la Wonk

1.00 Hayley Gaftarnick

2.00 Lightning Hector

Mon 4th October

12.00 Chester

 

 

 

“Busking It”. Manchester.

“Busking It”. Manchester.

The Manchester Busking Convention organised by Keep Streets Live and the Musicians’ Union is the first event of it’s type in the UK.

It is aimed not only at buskers of all levels of experience and those those who might be considering busking, but also at policy-makers and those with an interest in how street performance fits in the general urban environment.

Through a series of interactive workshops on the day we will be exploring the history of the relationship between the MU and KSL, and how we have worked together to protect performers and establish positive approaches to busking in a number of Council areas across Northern England.

There will be an extensive Q&A session on busking and the law where we can tell you everything you need to know about your rights (and responsibilities) as a street performer.

We’ll also be looking at how busking works as part of a wider musical career (facilitating travel, honing your act and generating interest via social media platforms), and examining some of the options available to us in an increasingly cashless society.

In addition to this we will be giving advice on setting up your equipment, getting good sound and minimising disruption to others when you perform in public spaces.

BOOK HERE