Galway city buskers have drafted a code of conduct to "encourage open dialogue" with local businesses, and to deal with concerns over noise levels, length and time of busking in specific spots, and obstruction by crowds.
The buskers have drafted the code in response to the impending Galway City Council bye-laws to regulate and restrict busking in the city. It is understood that permits will be required for buskers; restrictions on the use of amplification; and 'Circle Acts' - street acts that draw large crowds that restrict movement and cause pedestrian bottlenecks - from Willamsgate Street, Whitehall, and Shop Street, but can perform in Eyre Square and the Spanish Arch.
Galway businesses have, for the last number of years been calling for restrictions to outright bans on buskers using amplification. However there is a desire busking continue as it is recognised as adding to the culture and tourism of the city.
Nonetheless with bye-laws a matter of when, not if, the Galway Buskers’ Community has published a code of conduct, created by and for Galway buskers, along with the 'We Support Friendly Busking’ campaign, and slogan: 'Our Art, Our Streets, Our Responsibility.' The code of conduct takes into consideration noise levels, length and time of busking in specific spots, and obstruction by crowds.
Galway buskers claim there is "no need, or public support" for any new busking bye-laws or permits, and that the introduction of such would "negatively impact busking and street arts" in the city, and consequently hurt the city's reputation as "an arts and cultural hub of Ireland". However they recognise there are concerns over amplification.
"We are inviting the engagement of local businesses and community," said buskers spokesperson Niceol Blue. "Our new code takes into consideration the main concerns of local businesses, residents, and the city council. Buskers will display the ‘Friendly Busking’ stickers on their equipment, to encourage open dialogue should any issue arise with noise levels, etc."
She added: "We are promoting positive and responsible busking in Galway to improve the relationship between buskers, businesses, residents, tourists, local authority and the public. It is widely recognised that busking and street art are valuable assets to Galway’s community, culture, tourism, business, and the promotion of Galway’s international image. Galway is a fun, friendly and wonderful city to live in and visit, and we intend to keep it this way."
The Galway Buskers’ Code of Conduct is available for display in windows of supporting businesses and private residences. Information will be supplied through buskers' social media platforms and through [email protected].
"This is just the beginning of our initiative," said Niceol Blue. "We look forward to working alongside organisations and businesses in a variety of ways to promote and celebrate what makes Galway magical, through arts, music and community spirit."