Busking and other forms of street entertainment are part of the Bath ‘experience’, creating an enhanced atmosphere and providing pleasure to many people, both local residents and visitors. Buskers and Street Entertainers in Bath are asked to follow a Code of Practice, which is detailed below.
On occasion, however, particularly for people living or working in the city centre, busking may be intrusive, annoying, indecent and offensive. As a result, both the Local Authority and the Police receive many complaints about the volume and sometimes the nature of busking and street entertainment.
Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 noise in the street from musical instruments may be a statutory nuisance and the Local Authority is able to take legal action to abate the nuisance and prohibit or restrict its recurrence; this may include the seizure of musical instruments and amplification equipment.
Consultation on a Public Space Protection Order - Street Entertainment
The consultation regarding the introduction of a public space protection order has now closed. A decision on whether to introduce a ban on amplicfication in the following locations: Abbey Church Yard, Kingston Parade and Abbey Green, has now been made.
Bath and North East Somerset Council has decided to use Government legislation to target those individuals causing problems, rather than an outright ban which affects everyone, and for the effectiveness of this approach to be reviewed in December 2015. For further information regarding the decision and consultation, please click on ‘Council Agrees targeted approach’
Who to contact
If you encounter problems with Street Entertainers please contact the following people:
For matters relating to obstruction of the ‘public highway’ and offensive behaviour – The Police - telephone 101
For matters relating to noise control - Bath & North East Somerset Council 01225 477551
The Council does not licence buskers
but they do have an obligation to observe the Law regarding noise, obstruction and anti-social behaviour.
Noise (music & voice) should not be heard beyond 50 metres nor be a nuisance to nearby premises.
Responsible use of amplification is tolerated by the Council, but if abused all equipment can be confiscated.
An entertainer can perform at a pitch for one hour but not return for two hours. Noisy entertainers (eg. drums, bagpipes) half an hour.
Entertainers should not obstruct the highway and ensure their audiences do not either. Circus acts must take great care not to put the public at risk of injury.
An entertainer should not perform within 50 metres of another entertainer. (Please observe Big Issue pitches).
Entertainment is permitted between 10am and 8pm (until 10pm in July & August).
Entertainers should not cause offence or distress to the public and are asked to show consideration to shops avoiding obstructing goods and fire exits. This also applies to constantly repeated repertoires.
Entertainers should not ask for money but can accept donations.
This code of practice is supported by Avon & Somerset Police, Bath Abbey, Bath & North East Somerset Council and the Bath Business Improvement District.
Why not visit www.bathbuskers.co.uk and find out more about busking.
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