Image for ‘Loud’ Busking Is Being Banned On This Busy Melbourne StreetImage: Melbourne Buskers / Facebook

‘Loud’ Busking Is Being Banned On This Busy Melbourne Street

Written by Tom Williams on July 14, 2016

Loud or amplified busking is set to be banned along Swanston Street in Melbourne’s CBD, after hundreds of complaints were filed about excessive noise in the area.

As News Corp Australia reports, City Of Melbourne council is preparing to undertake a three-month trial of the ‘loud’ busking ban, which will make amplified performances on Swanston Street unlawful from 1st August.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says council received 264 noise-related complaints about buskers between January 2013 and 30th June this year, which is why action is being taken.

“Busking contributes to the vibrancy of Melbourne’s streets and is generally popular with residents, workers and visitors,” Mr Doyle says. “However that needs to be balanced with protecting the amenity of people who live and work in the city.”

The three-month ban could eventually become permanent, but Mr Doyle says the council will “reassess” its position after the trial has ended.

31-year-old Swanston Street busker Kier Stevens says the ban means it will now be even harder to hear buskers in Melbourne’s CBD.

“You need an amp because acoustic music, like just playing guitar, can’t get above the trams,” he says. “Music adds to the city, it’s really good.”

City Of Melbourne’s Swanston Street ‘loud’ busking ban will extend from Flinders Lane to La Trobe Street. Amplified busking will still be allowed on Sundays from 10am to 6pm at the chessboard area near Cafe L’Incontro, on the corner of Little Collins Street.

In April this year, video emerged of an angry Sydney resident berating musician Declan Kelly with a noise complaint during an amplified busking performance in Manly. Kelly spoke to Music Feeds following the incident, and told his side of the story.

City Of Melbourne has issued 2064 busking permits, and 42 applications have been rejected over the past two year. Buskers must audition for the permits, which can be cancelled without notice if they are deemed to be doing anything inappropriate.

For more information about busking in the Melbourne CBD, head to the City Of Melbourne website.

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