STREET CULTURE IN CAMDEN IS UNDER SERIOUS THREAT
Camden Borough Council are planning to introduce one of the most restrictive Busking Laws in the UK.
￼• Busking without a license will become a CRIMINAL OFFENCE punishable by a fine of up to £1000
• Police, Council officials and ‘authorised’ private contractors will have the power to seize and confiscate instruments of anybody busking without a license
• If fines are not paid within 28 days then the Council can SELL the instruments to pay the fine
• All wind and percussion instruments and amplifiers are BANNED (including Kazoos)
• Annual licenses costing up to £123 will be required with performers required to display licenses at all times and to stop performing if asked by a council official for any reason
GRAB A KAZOO AND JOIN THE DISSENTERS
Kazoos are highly portable and cheaper to replace than a guitar or violin should they be confiscated by an over-zealous public official.
We’re open to new members (with no previous Kazoo experience necessary) and will be performing at events in Camden during the coming months.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼0f MINOR DisSenT
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼The Citizens Kazoo Orchestra has been formed by Mark Thomas 100 Acts of Minor Dissent in conjunction with the Keep Streets Live campaign.
Sign the online petition at www.keepstreetslive.com
Find out more at www.facebook.com/groups/keepstreetslivecamden
THE COUNCIL SAY
Street performance causes ‘danger’ and creates opportunities for crimes to occur such as pickpocketing.
Strict new laws are necessary because of a recent increase in complaints about buskers from residents and businesses.
Camden Council say they need the power to seize and sell instruments to enforce this new law.
A specific Busking Law is needed to effectively regulate busking.
Academic evidence shows that busking makes the streets safer. Busking adds colour and vibrancy to urban landscapes making shared public spaces more welcoming and less threatening.
Without addressing the noise issues that generate the most complaints such as traffic, construction, shops, the use of machinery and loud music from neighbours, Camden Council risks fundamentally restricting a huge outlet for grassroots culture.
Confiscating musical instruments takes away a person’s livelihood, robs them of their ability to earn (and therefore, to pay fines) and is a serious assault on personal freedom.
Scarce public resources should not be directed against grassroots musicians and artists in this heavy-handed zero tolerance approach.
The Council and the Police already have a wide range of existing powers that they can use against buskers who are genuinely causing problems.
Existing laws and a Best Practise Guide are all that’s needed for the effective oversight of busking.
Camden has a worldwide reputation for Alternative Culture
Live music is part of the lifeblood of Camden and
a major aspect of its visitor economy. The vibrant and varied street culture is part of what makes it such an exciting place to live and visit. Plans to impose strict regulations on would-be buskers will stifle spontaneity and have a damaging impact upon the diversity and distinctiveness of performers AND performances.
Camden’s Labour-controlled Council are in the process of cutting £83.3 MILLION from their annual budget and yet have still found the thousands of pounds necessary to consult on these busking license proposals. This reflects a strange set of priorities, especially at a time when public money is so scarce. Public servants should be concentrating their time and resources where they can make the most positive impact.
The Association of Street Artists and Performers (ASAP!) is an advocacy body which campaigns for policies that support the use of public space for grassroots expressions of art and culture. We are calling on Camden Council to abandon their plans to license busking.
Buskers should be welcomed and encouraged, ESPECIALLY in Camden with its rich history and culture of live music.