All forms of street entertainment, commonly referred to as busking, are viewed as an important part of the musical and cultural heritage of the borough, providing a means for new talent to be discovered, while adding to vibrancy and character of the area.
However, in recent months Camden has received an escalating number of complaints from residents and councillors regarding disruptive busking activity.
Camden believes that nuisance has been caused to local residents and businesses from the use of amplifiers and loud musical instruments, and that there is potential for nuisance to be caused in any part of the borough. Camden also believes that on some occasions there is a risk to safety of people using the street, and that increased opportunities have been created for crime to occur, such as pickpocketing.
Camden does not currently have an agreed policy on busking and has not previously adopted the specific legislation available which would provide the necessary powers under the London Local Authorities Act 2000 (“the Act”).
Why We Are Consulting
We are currently considering options for a Street Entertainment Policy, and we would like to hear your views so that we can take them in to account before making a decision. Our proposals include adopting legislation to enable us to issue busking licences for some types of street entertainment throughout Camden.
There are many options available to the Council in creating this new Policy, and we welcome views on all parts of our proposals. The key Policy proposals being made are:
The requirement for needing a busking licence will apply across the whole borough.
Many forms of entertainment will be exempt, principally where the entertainment does not involve music or amplifiers, or where the entertainment is likely to organised as part of a wider event.
Maximum permitted times are proposed as 10am to 9pm
A busking licence will normally be issued for 12 months, and permit busking anywhere in the borough
Standard conditions will be applied to all licences, which place the onus on the performer to choose a pitch that is suitable for the nature of their performance, and which prevents the use of amplifiers and some instruments, such as drums and brass bands.
A procedure to determine applications and requests to vary the standard conditions
What Happens Next
The responses to the consultation will be reported to the Licensing Committee on the 29th October 2013, and the committee will also hear any oral representations that people wish to make.
In addition to the licensing committee, the proposal and consultation responses will be reported to the Cabinet on the 23rd October 2013, and then to the full Council on 11th November 2013, who will be making the final decision on the policy.