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Forums > Social Discussion > Potential Busking Problems in Melbourne?

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I'm reposting this from P-net at the asking of Peter Voice on there.
I actually don't know much about it so I am hoping that anyone who might can pipe in here and fill us in.
Thanks!

*repost below*
A serious problem is looming in the City of Melbourne, we have a new Mayor who is an ultra-conservative who lead the right-wing State Parliamentary Party to a record landslide loss at the last elections.

With a handsome 28% of the votes he has finally won one and is our new Mayor.

Part of his platform includes a crackdown on buskers.

Im not sure what that means but I intend to mount a robust defense based on a pre-planned counter attack (in other words an ambush). I play chess and believe in making sure my pieces are all in place before I move. I play poker too but my passion when it comes to games is Mah Jong. All are about strategy.

I have journalistic connections that go a long way back and intend to us them. Im currently writing an article to try to pre-empt the Mayor. There are members here whose career was born in Melbourne or grew here and not all of them locals. There are others who have visited, offered their work and been rewarded and celebrated for it.

I will easily be able to garner local the support I need but what would help a great deal would be some significant international support. I want to use this thread to assemble it.

I would like any-one who has worked in Melb., been influenced, helped by Melb. Performers in any way to write some thoughts or stories here that may give me ammunition.

I would also like to ask those people to begin composing letters for my media campaign. Letters from all over the planet, esp. by those of us that can write, Director; (insert city here) Buskers Festival (insert year/s here) or any other co-ordinator role after their name (Beaumanz?). Some names that spring to mind are Finkel, Petra Massey, Rumple(and any other Aussies at Cirque dSoliel, Gav, Lee Nelson, Nick, Roland Jossuttis, Gary Palmer, Lynneski, in fact anyone who was planning to come or just finds the news disturbing.

Melbourne has a great reputation for busking that is under threat by this worm. Buskers are why we have the circus school, hundreds of very famous Australian performers began supported by busking.



I will provide some email addresses over the next day or two. Let the campaign begin.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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ElectricBlue
SILVER Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra

Total posts: 810
Posted:Thanks so much for posting this Pele. I know lots of friends whos whole livelihood relies on busking in Melbourne so this is very important and i have always wanted to busk there at least once, i hope they don't take that chance away.

There are some absolutely amazing buskers in Melbourne and they are a large part of the 'arty' atmosphere on the street. The mayor must be mad to try and take that away from Melbourne.

I'll be sure to pass this on to any one i can think of.


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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Lovo


Lovo

Lord and Master
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 74
Posted:This mayor is a fool. Cracking down on buskers? From what I hear he thinks they are driving away the tourists... I'm very sure this is not the case. Nor do i think his focus should be no what tourists want, but more about what melbourne wants.

For the last few months there have also been talks of closing down the city to all cars and making it a green city, with only public transport or bikes aloud to go around, as well as people on foot. Our dear mayor has decided if wants to open up the already closed roads to get more traffic in the through the city... Smart move mr mayor, smart move... *cough cough*


Under the skin of our lives; somewhere deep and early, forgotten, we all follow the same dreams.
- unknown

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ElectricBlue
SILVER Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra

Total posts: 810
Posted:It's really sad. I have always wanted to move to Melbourne to experiance the music and arts scene there. I really hope it has not all been destroyed by the mayor by the time i can move there.

I have heard a lot about iconic Melbourne music venues being shut down beacuse of bullsh!t noise complaints


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:I was under the impression that they were going to audition buskers and issue licences like they (officially) do here in Queensland, weeding out the rubbish ones

Anyone who'se ever worked as a checkout chick with someone playing incessant bad trumpet outside their shop will rejoice.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:EB, my pleasure! Anything I can do to help. I know some buskers there as well and I don't believe that it should be removed outright. Regulated perhaps but not removed. I'll post more as I can.

Lovo, Rougie was telling me about this cycling thing! WTF? I loved the idea of it being more green and more "accessible". Alot of good traffic has done every other city in the world. Ick.
Tourism is a huge part of any city, as it tends to bring in a fair amount of cash. However, tourists tend to love or ignore buskers, so I don't see how they do harm so long as they are not blocking shops.
But for it all to work, the local gov't and the citizens need to work together. You are right.

Eera, that was originally the plan but now my understanding is that it is to be banned. My friend Chris was working on the whole regulation thing with a city council or some such, but I don't know where it stands now. I've emailed him and am waiting to hear what he says.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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ElectricBlue
SILVER Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra

Total posts: 810
Posted:Hey Pele do you have the title of the thread on p net?
I want to forward it to a friend that is a member there and not here.

Spanks smile


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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pineapple pete
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne

Total posts: 5125
Posted:do you know exactly what is the 'crack down' cracking down on, in melbourne?

hug


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

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DaG
GOLD Member since Jun 2005

DaG

Golf buggie driving instructor
Location: Brisvegas

Total posts: 156
Posted:From what I have read the new lord mayor talked about getting rid of "tone deaf buskers" And he was looking into issues of licensing and regulations.

If Queen St mall brisbane is anything to go by, (1 buskers audition every 3 months where only 1 or 2 permits are granted) licensing and regulation go a long way to making it harder to just get out there and work, even if it is to purge the 'talentless' ones.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,24737042-2862,00.html




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pineapple pete
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne

Total posts: 5125
Posted:as the article mentioned, we do already have a licensing scheme in place, but in reality, until more firm talk comes into action, it just seems like quite a bit of inspecifics.. as close as it comes to being specific is mentioning musicians who cant play in tune, but fails to mention what will be done with these tone deaf muso's..

i can't really see a major problem yet.. if, yes, plans for melbournes streets to turn into a brisbane-like state, then yes, we have a problem..

or am i ignoring some facts?

hug


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

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DaG
GOLD Member since Jun 2005

DaG

Golf buggie driving instructor
Location: Brisvegas

Total posts: 156
Posted:You are not ignoring anything as far as I am aware Pete and I think you know just about as much as anybody else.

From all I have seen this scare is based on some sound-bite one-line pledges this guy made as he entered office.
This Peter Voice is talking about a preemptive attack because it seems, at this point, it could possibly get really bad but at moment it's only words.

Fingers crossed its not too bad! I was looking forward to doing some busking down there in the new year.




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pineapple pete
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne

Total posts: 5125
Posted:cool, glad i wasnt missing some crucial facts..

yeah, i'm very happy with he way things are, the restrictions currently in place have been there for years, and i think are at a good level for which buskers dont have to be superstars (otherwise they wouldnt be busking), but a very wide range of talent is available on the streets, of many levels and skill types smile

an increase in regulations would just narrow the artistic spectrum seen on our happy streets smile

hug


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:EB- it's called "Serious Problem in Melbourne" and it's in the Blah, Blah, Blah... section.

Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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DaG
GOLD Member since Jun 2005

DaG

Golf buggie driving instructor
Location: Brisvegas

Total posts: 156
Posted:I was just looking at the Gold Coast City Councils Busking Guidelines and was wondering if other areas has similar rules?
http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/attachment/policies/busking_guidelines.pdf
br>
They seem to me to be really tough and over the top, but this may just be the wording.
Are the current Melbourne restrictions similar? Has anyone on here busked under guidelines like this?




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ElectricBlue
SILVER Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra

Total posts: 810
Posted:Yeah not sure about Melbourne but they do sound similar to the restrictions in syd. But possibly more harsh.

The problem with restrictions like this is that they make it really hard to get a start in street performing beacuse as all street performers know it takes a very long time and lots of on pitch practice to become a good street performer. They also are restrictive to traveling buskers from interstate or overseas as it can take ages to get a permit and lastly they can be prone to corruption or difficulties if members of the audition board have their own prerogative and there is no appeal process.


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Thing is, Chris from FWDC helped put the current Melb ones in place. They even denied some performers pitches and those people still went out and were busking anyway.

So, if current ones aren't really be followed, then how would new ones get enforced?

Chris said that his contact at the city offices that he worked with on the old ones is right beside herself trying to figure out what's going to happen.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted:discussions have been in place for a while in hobart about buskers at salamanca market (for those that dont know its the best known market in tassie and sells majority tasmanian made products and has a heavy tourist presence). suggestions of paying a fee for busking sites were made and designated areas for certain times.

sounds similar to what may be going on in melbourne. personally i think its bureaucracy bullship as we're always getting nowadays. people that dont make money leave and people that push on normally improve.

even if you do hold auditions and exscessive things like that you're not going to stop people standing on a footpath with a guitar. its stupid and troublesome and simply unnecessary.

i hope the future decisions are practical and not excessive, although considering it will probably involve highly paid public servants that have never busked in their lives i doubt it will be.


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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ElectricBlue
SILVER Member since Feb 2002

ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra

Total posts: 810
Posted:I also really hate when they talk about scheduling time slots for people and that sort thing not taking into account the how the pitch may have been working for years.

Buskers are usually pretty good with sharing pitches and working out a scheduling system them selves.


I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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Lovo


Lovo

Lord and Master
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 74
Posted:If it aint broken, why fix it? Buskers are a smart lot. All this bureaucracy is unnecessary.

Under the skin of our lives; somewhere deep and early, forgotten, we all follow the same dreams.
- unknown

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:There's got to be something big going on if the mayor is going to get involved in an issue like this.

In my 9 years as a street artist I've seen hundreds of really bad buskers, mainly drunks with guitars who hang around day after day after day after day thinking that they're rock stars.

These are the guys that, as far as I can tell, that the mayor is talking about, not the good acts.

Every year, I see new and inspired buskers coming on to the scene, their eyes filled with visions of cash and applause and every year I see those same people run into the hard reality of what busking really is.

That warm fuzzy feeling evaporates quickly when just as they start their act, some big mean dude comes up and says " that MY spot, I ALWAYS play here at this time"

Or there's the act that doesn't give a rip about the volume specifications, fire up and shuts down all the other buskers within a block radius. Suddenly everybody's got to move, and compete for another spot.

Somethings wrong, and somebody's complaining to city council if it got up to the mayoral level.


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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Originally Posted By: PeleThing is, Chris from FWDC helped put the current Melb ones in place.
What's FWDC?


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Originally Posted By: newgabeOriginally Posted By: PeleThing is, Chris from FWDC helped put the current Melb ones in place.
What's FWDC?

Fireworks Dance Company
They're based in Melbourne, are over ten years old and do major pyrotechnic shows as well as fire dance and cabaret shows all over Oz, Taz and NZ


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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MRC
SILVER Member since Jun 2008

MRC

Funky Blessings Daily


Total posts: 215
Posted:I haven't read up on the rules but in Baltimore apparently there are quality standards. They have some important spots so I think they wanna be able to tell drunks to scatter. I think it's one of those audition and approval systems.

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LadyAmanita


stranger


Total posts: 16
Posted:Anyone know what the rules are in San Francisco?
I was reading those Gold Coast rules, and good grief, they have a lot of them. It looks like firedancers and a lot of martial arts-based performances would be Right Out under those rules.


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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Locally, we have standards and auditions, at least in the high season. But at this time of year, when most of the professional acts have moved on, all we have left are drunks and assholes who don't really give much of a rip about anyone or anything except making enough money for the next box of beer.

Just yesterday I waked by five of them in a row, two drunks with guitars, one juggler whose been pretty much banned from everywhere ( he told a 10 year old violin player to "get out of my spot" last year, a mime, who appears to have abandoned the mime gig and picked up a guitar instead. Mime guy literally can't play, and only strums his guitar when there's people less than 20 feet away and this total dick who dresses up Shakespeare like, talks in a haughty actor voice asking for money and hurls insults at people who don't give him any.

Ha, last year I watched Shakespeare guy pull his shtick on a woman and then made a rude sexual comment at her when she didn't give him any money. She turned around, took him down hard, and handcuffed him, yep, off duty cop. Needless to say, Shakespeare guy didn't learn from the experience.

I know sometimes we tend to romanticise the world of the busker, but when it comes right down to it, it can be a pretty harsh reality.

So what's Melbourne about then ? getting rid of the losers, like the mayor alluded to, or shutting down the program altogether, like Mr. Voice alluded to ? If it's the former, I'd be really, really hesitant to write an "international letter of support"


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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls.

Total posts: 756
Posted:Sounds like it could be either- stuff like that, even if it's intended to cut down on the genuine problem beggar-with-guitar sort of busking could easily get taken too far by and start causing issues for genuine performers- expecially beginners.

Something to keep an eye on anyway.. I really enjoyed Melbourne busking scene, I really hope they don't manage to ruin it..


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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marls


stranger


Total posts: 1
Posted:Hi buskers -

I heard about the situation in Melbourne and am currently developing a documentary on the topic of busking and the threats it's being faced with.

If you are a busker in or outside Melbourne with a story - please contact me via my email address:
mpalmeiro@pnmg.com.au

Cheers,
Marlene


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