Have your say on amplified music/noise from street entertainers in Bath
On-street entertainers and performers - buskers - are an important part of the culture of Bath, bringing vibrancy and character to the city. Some use amplifiers to enhance the volume of their performance.
Currently, Bath & North East Somerset Council does not have a formal policy on busking and/or street entertainment in Bath city centre, as there is a voluntary Code of Practice used by the busking community.
Following concerns raised by the public, the Council is considering a ban on the use of amplifiers in the following locations: Abbey Church Yard, Kingston Parade and Abbey Green. This would be achieved by putting in place a Public Space Protection Order.
The criteria for issuing a Public Space Protection Order are:
We would like your views on these proposals. You can respond to the Public Space Protection Order consultation from Monday 5 January on the Council’s webpage at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/your-council-and-democracy/consultations.
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.
PLEASE NOTE: THE COUNCIL DOES NOT LICENCE BUSKERS
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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