Buskers Oppose Kensington Busking Bans

Buskers Oppose Kensington Busking Bans

Buskers’ group Keep Streets Live, along with the Musicians’ Union and Equity – have lodged a formal objection to Kensington & Chelsea’s draft Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).

The restrictions in iconic locations such as South Kensington’s ‘Museum District’, Portobello Road and outside Harrods will profoundly affect street performance in the borough, and in our professional opinion turn it into a ‘no-go’ zone for busking.

According to David Webster from the Musicians’ Union:

“The MU has grave concerns over the imposition of PSPO’s as proposed by Kensington and Chelsea. The livelihood of buskers is under threat – There is a workable solution provided for in the Busk in London scheme developed by The Mayor’s office and we urge RBK&C to engage with that.”

Tim Clement-Jones, a Lib Dem peer and prominent live music campaigner, said:

“PSPO’s are completely disproportionate as a way of dealing with public nuisance and they have the effect of criminalising perfectly legal busking which adds so much to the life of our towns and cities”

Chester Bingley, Director of Keep Streets Live who are organizing the campaign against the ban added:

“Home Office guidance is clear that these Orders should not be used to prevent reasonable busking and/or other forms of street entertainment.

Keep Streets Live have offered to discuss alternatives to this crackdown. We have worked with many Local Authorities across the country to introduce systems of guidance that are based on dialogue between buskers, businesses and residents, common sense and co-operation, whilst supporting robust enforcement action when necessary.

The proposed PSPO will not only cause hardship to those who make a living performing in the area, but will substantially reduce its appeal as a vibrant tourist destination. “

The groups are planning a number of days of action (including music, leafleting, and a petition) to highlight the contents of the PSPO, raise awareness of its impact, and persuade RBKC that the proposal is both undesirable and unworkable.

RBKC PSPO Consultation is open until 7th June.

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