Entertainers now have to pay a fee to perform at the local buskers and comedy festival.
Entertainers now have to pay a fee to perform at the local buskers and comedy festival.

Yes or no to busker rules?

THE debate around Coffs Harbour City Council’s busking policy continues to rage.

Following an article in The Coffs Coast Advocate last week in which local busker Tim Walsh voiced his concerns about paying council $12 a day to perform and the need for public liability insurance, there has been a flurry of correspondence.

John Logan, organiser of the Coffs Coast International Buskers and Comedy Festival, supports the policy, claiming it “keeps riff raff off the streets”.

While some buskers have jumped behind Mr Logan, others are with Mr Walsh.

Here are some of the opinions expressed online -

Christiaan Dolislager (A happy busker):
With amazement I read the story regarding a busker’s complaint.

I am a busker as well, local, and have been playing on and off at the growers market. I have also been busking around Australia.

Some councils have rules in place for public liability, auditions, designated places to busk etc., and I have no problems with that. I totally disagree with the newspaper article proclaiming that a public liability policy costs between $500 and $600 a year. These policies can be organised for $130 per year and are valid all over Australia.

Auditions are a good way of stopping so-called buskers who screech and annoy their way through a haphazard repertoire they can’t handle.

A reasonable to good busker will always receive a decent amount of money for his effort and shouldn’t begrudge a council charging some money and asking for a P/L policy.

Posted by vallaben from Valla Beach:

That’s exactly the attitude that you would expect from the council and their lackeys. So this bloke thinks red tape is fine and he should decide who the “riff raff” are. He certainly does not speak for my music/entertainment likes and dislikes. Another example of somebody being employed to tell us what we can do or say or enjoy. This country is being destroyed by people like him and the council. Cut the red tape, roll back the regulation, get rid of the consultants and let people earn a living how and where they choose.

Posted by picman2 from Coffs Harbour:
As a performer myself I know exactly what you mean. Be it in the street or in a venue entertainers are now being made to pay the costs of bureaucracy. There was a time when insurance policies from venues and councils covered everybody.

As far as buskers go, the whole meaning of the word has been lost in that these entertainers are amateur and upcoming performers and they should be given the chance to perform no matter what the quality of their acts.

How can children get the chance to perform if they have to pay fees?

What do you think of the proposal? Leave your comments below.

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