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The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ The side walk shuffle Ľ Ľ For real buskers only -- a question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bill Palmer
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I am posting this question on three different forums (okay, for you Latin scholars "fora").

What do you think of street performing permits, if they are required by the city?

Are they a necessary evil?

Do you just put up with them?

Do they help keep out the riff-raff?

Do you just ignore them and perform anyway?

I have a reason for asking this. If you are curious, please PM me, or better, e-mail me at bill@billpalmer.com
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Eric Evans
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This is a most complex topic depending upon what you're hoping to achieve by instituting a permit system. I'm led to believe that your query is based upon the desire to keep "riff-raff" out of a designated locale.

If that is the case, it can be used as such, and is most often the primary motivation for such a system. However, this ultimately rarely succeeds in keeping out all but the most egregiously insulting performers. Something that is accomplished more easily through other statutes already on the books.

It's been my experience that permits are by and large a nuisance that offer little or no benefit for the public and performer alike.

Whenever they're required, I'll observe the law as long as I'm there, but it also colors my decision as to where I want to go.
Bill Palmer
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Reread the question please, and tell me where it states that I am trying to institute anything.

Then answer the questions I asked.

Don't assume anything.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Eric Evans
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"You" as I employed it, wasn't meant to be taken personally. If you read my post in that light, I think you'll see where I answered all your questions. I specifically sought refuge in generalizations because they're not black and white questions requiring "shoot from the hip" answers.

My apologies for making myself unclear.
Bill Palmer
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Apology accepted.

Once I have enough information to form some kind of consensus from the POV of performers, I'll explain precisely why I am asking these questions.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Kondini
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Direct answer, ignore them and perform OK. (This has happened to me and I pleaded no knowledge of said regulations; I got away with it!).I'm in the UK.
Kozmo
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Well, Eric may very well be right. I'm not sure, BUT it seems to me that if there were a permit that was expensive enough it would keep the riff raff from being performers because it would cost too much and they wouldn't have the cash.

That doesn't mean they would stay away though; they certainly could and might become beggars. I have no problem with buying a permit, as long as it's a resonable permit to get (not having to go through ridiculous things to get the permit).

I have a permit in several cities that are current right now and I will likely keep them. I just want to work, and if it's a permit that's the key then I will pay.

koz
RiffRaff
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I thought that I was being paranoid, but you guys have just confirmed my suspicions that the permits were created just to keep ME out.
Harry Murphy
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What do you think of street performing permits, if they are required by the city?
While I donít like them and really donít understand the need (free enterprise and all), I respect the cityís right to have such an ordinance (along with the curb your pet and remove its waste products ordinance).

Are they a necessary evil? Necessary?
Thatís debatable. I understand how some municipalities try to keep vagabonds, vagrants, undesirables, beggars, the unsightly and unwashed, off their virgin streets. It is a matter of keeping things controlled and peaceful.

Do you just put up with them?
Yes.

Do they help keep out the riff-raff?
NO.

Do you just ignore them and perform anyway? Sometimes. I usually try to abide by the law. Sometimes, I have hit a venue on the fly, i.e., on a weekend as I am passing through and the proper offices are not open and I am gone by the time they do open on a Monday.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Danny Hustle
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I think permits are pure BS.

I also think pricing them high keeps out the kids trying to learn more than it does the rif-raf. As a matter of fact one performer I know stole the money to pay for his permit here in Harvard Square a couple of years ago.

The rif-raf have many more ways of acquiring funds than the honest hard working fellow does.

I think the audience should ultimately decide who should stay and who should go. Letís face it if you are so bad you canít make a buck then you will find another line of work.

I personally think anyone who has the testicular fortitude to stand on the street and bring a show to people who didnít know they wanted to see one deserves every polite consideration.

I also think that forcing performers to be permitted flies in the face of the first amendment. When my buddy Perry the hobo was having trouble with permits in Cape Cod the ACLU came to his aid and said the same thing. They also won the suit.

I donít like permits but I get them when I have to. It is a lot cheaper than trying to fight it.

I know that Jim Cellini looks at what we do almost like a religion. Something filled with ritual and vestment. It is a calling and something we must abide. Maybe we should be allowed all the same exemptions as churches are? Street corner preachers donít need a permit and they donít have to pay taxes on their hats. I donít know about you but I like the sound of that.

Hmm... Pope Jim... I like the sound of that. I wonder if that cagey old master isnít on to something. I know he could get me to drink his flavor of Kool-Aid. Smile

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Iím so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
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Kozmo
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I love you Danny, but even if you suck really bad you can make money! Point in fact, there's a juggler in New Orleans and this guy flat cannot juggle at all--AT ALL--he gets on his unicycle and starts, juggles for maybe 5 seconds before he drops the clubs, has the audience throw the clubs back up, and does it again. If he makes it 5 seconds he catches the clubs and says, "ta da" and does his hat line. People feel for the guy, and give him the $1. At the end of the day he has $100 and off happily into horrid performer land he goes!

But likely you are right about everything else...

Pope Jim...I'm gonna tell him that! That's funny!

koz
JamesinLA
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I busk two places. Each place is in a different town. Both towns are near each other. One requires a permit, the other doesn't. However, I bought the permit (have to get another one now in the New Year!). The reason I bought the permit is because a street performer told me he got a ticket from a cop for not having one. The permit cost $37. The ticket this guy got was over $200 so he said!

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2004-01-13 12:00, tedb wrote:
I love you Danny, but even if you suck really bad you can make money!


I love you too Koz Smile

What I said was if you are so bad that you can't make a buck.

I know there are horrid performers out there but if their personality (funny, pathetic, whatever,) allows them to make a living, people are not trying to drive them off the street.

I was talking more about the insulting, nasty, mean performers. If you have a nasty attitude people will just not pay, call a cop, and have you run off the pitch. I've seen it happen here in Harvard Square and you know the guy who got run off Smile Permit or no the bad guys will get run off.

I don't think we should stop untalented people from trying. Even the worst performers can at least become mediocre if they have the nerve to persevere.

And yes, I'm speaking from the bitter hard earned experience of my own blistering rise to mediocrity. Smile

Tell Pope Jim I said hi and I'll be sure to kiss his ring the next time I see him. Smile

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! Iím so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
JamesinLA
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Hey, Danny!
There's a guy on the promeanade who is pretty awful. He's plays a little kid's drum set and he sings (sort of). He has no idea of rhythm or western melody, but he's so bad he's fun. And he's "ours." So he gets money from his amused audience. I usually give him a buck myself.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
BroDavid
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I saw the juggler that Koz was talking about and the first time I saw him, I thought he was missing just because it was a really windy day, but in time it became clear that he really is pretty pitiful as a juggler.

I think people respond to his riding a 6 foot high unicycle, and even though he tries and tries and fails to juggle while way up there, people admire his ability to ride the uni, and they seem to respond to his perseverance at juggling. Or maybe they are just hungry for entertainment.

As for a permit. As has been said, if a community decides to require a permit, it is their right as a governing agency to do so. And if you want to perform there, you have to either obey the law, or take the risk of consequences.

Our city (Akron) has a permit law, but if you choose your venue carefully; private property like a flea market (where you get the organizer's permission) or an event that the city is trying to grow and promote, they don't care whether you have a permit or not. They opened a new park downtown, and have concerts on Saturday mornings in good weather, and they love street performers entertaining the crowds.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Yogibear0925
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Permits are a thorn in the side, but one you have it, you can make the money to buy the bandaid. Now with permit in hand, nobody can tell you not to perform on their land. Hey I'm a poet and didn't know it. Smile
Its not the magic that you do, but the way you do the magic.
JamesinLA
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Okay, for the record, here's a true story that just happened today. I went to pick up my new permit for this year, and there's another street performer there picking up this permit too. He strikes up a conversation. He's a musician. So we talk about this and that and then I ask him what he thinks about having to buy permits. "Isn't this a free speech issue?" I say. He says permits are a good idea because the city "has to control things." And he wishes the permits cost $300 to keep out the riff raft. This guy is retired, he drives 65 miles to his pitch on the weekends, and it sounds like he's not making a lot of money from what he told me. Anyway, for what it's worth, that was his 2 cents.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2004-01-15 21:40, Yogibear0925 wrote:
Permits are a thorn in the side, but one you have it, you can make the money to buy the bandaid. Now with permit in hand, nobody can tell you not to perform on their land. Hey I'm a poet and didn't know it. Smile


If I'm not mistaken, most permits apply only to public land, not private property. So if a person who owns, say, a parking lot, asks you to move along, he has the right to do so, permit or not. But if you move off his land and onto the public right of way or into a public square, that's a different story.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Allen Gittelson
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What do you think of street performing permits, if they are required by the city?
As I recall from the documents governing us here in the United States of America, the right to express ourselves extends to us on the street as well. In San Francisco, there is no permit required to busk, so I've never dealt with permits for it myself.

Are they a necessary evil?
No.

Do you just put up with them?
No. See above.

Do they help keep out the riff-raff?
I doubt it.

Do you just ignore them and perform anyway?
Not needed in SF. See above. If you want to battle the people who will try to enforce permits, then good luck. They will not make it easy. I have performed in a few places that I had believed were public property only to find later that they were private. I was asked nicely to leave and did so.
cfrye
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Quote:
On 2004-01-18 22:27, Allen Gittelson wrote:
What do you think of street performing permits, if they are required by the city?
As I recall from the documents governing us here in the United States of America, the right to express ourselves extends to us on the street as well.

The documents have been interpreted as allowing "time, place, and manner" restrictions when speech rights come into conflict with other rights and the need for public order. It is on those grounds that localities may require permits.
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