Galway City to introduce controversial busking laws

Buskers in Galway will face new regulations after Galway City Council voted in favour of introducing a new bye law.

Performers will no longer be able to use amplification before 6pm and anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Many dancers, circus acts and performers who incorporate fire and danger into their set require people to stop, watch and participate. These ‘circle acts’ will be not be allowed perform until after 6pm as part of the new regulations.

The controversial change has been subject to criticism from various busking groups in Galway City. A group called ‘The Galway Buskers’ Community’ have been protesting the changes since their proposal.

“This will have a huge impact on the city. Most of our community will be put off the streets for all but 5 hours a day under these new bye-laws,” said Niceol Blue on behalf of the group. “Many modern instruments and young performers coming up need amplification for their instruments and voices simply to be heard over the din of city life.”

“Not only that, but these bye-laws ban circle acts, and as such ban street theatre and children’s shows for the majority of the day.”

Galway singer Kate Canavan, who has previously busked in the city, believes the new regulation will have a negative impact.

“Galway is known for its atmosphere, culture and music and I think by restricting busking we will lose some of that magical feeling that Galway has,” she said. “I just really don’t see the positive side to it at all.”

However, councillors who supported the law change insisted that it would be introduced to address complaints of noise levels and crowding in the city centre, particularly down Shop Street and William Street.

 

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