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Amplified busking

From Adrian Crowther

Monday, 2 May 2016

Is it only me who objects to amplified busking?

At around lunchtime today there was a guy in the square murdereing songs at a volume i'd think twice about at a house party!

Now don't get me wrong - I love music and, on a warm spring day, a well played guitar in the background is a wonderfull thing to experience but - volume levels like those experienced recently are surely against acceptable levels.

Can anyone one comment on the "rules" when busking please

From Tim B

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Nearly all the buskers, amplified or not, are good or at least inoffensive. However there is one chap who is appalling; he turns every song into a dirge at high volume that I can hear from my garden several hundred metres away. I don't know if it was the same chap today as I was out of Hebden, but I've been temped to unplug him in the past. He's a menace and a tuneless one at that.

From Stephen Redfern

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

I live in the square and have done so for many years, through the good and the bad, but this chap I now crown the the most annoying busker of all time, so congrats for that.

I have a sound meter that I have bought especially for the King of noise which recorded one of his most strangled hits "Crying, Roy Orbison" which peaked at 84 dB and averaging 75 dB with only a low of a measly 52 dB, and that is from inside my living room with the window slightly open for air as always.

Now, it wouldn't be so bad for maybe an hour or two but 5 hours at a time I don't think I am being unreasonable.

Oh… and I hate that song by the way, especially Seven or eight times in one tinitus inducing day.

From Rick Hamilton

Thursday, 12 May 2016

I totally agree with Adrian. Buskers = good, amplified buskers = a royal pain in the backside.

I don't know what the regulations are about this but it can't be nice for the people who work in the square who have to listen to this all day.

Plus, I'm fairly sure that it discourages people from sitting outside the local cafes, which must be bad for their business. How about printing a few notices asking people not to give money to buskers using amplifiers? Especially ones who play that bloody awful 'Starry Starry Nights' song over and over again. Badly.

From DB Cooper

Thursday, 12 May 2016

This anti-amplification business is all very well, but what if an innovative (i.e. dissonant) yet wholly acoustic quartet comprising, let's say, euphonium, hurdy-gurdy, soprano sax and drum kit were to take up residence in the square for a few hours?

From S Connor

Friday, 13 May 2016

DB Cooper, I think that would be welcomed. Hebden Bridge has always embraced the eccentric. The problem here is the volume, length and repetition.

I work overlooking the square and this latest busker is awful. I have tried to ask him to turn it down a notch, play a few different songs or move every now and again (as agreed in the guidelines) but he is very aggressive and knows he has the law on his side.

The Police won't ask him to move and he simply ignored members of the Town Hall staff who tried to reason with him when he was well into his 7th rendition of 'Crying' a few weeks ago.

A friend of mine overheard him discussing the £250 he made in one afternoon in the Square so some people must appreciate it I suppose…

From Liz A

Friday, 13 May 2016

I'm sure the anti social behaviour team in Calderdale Council would have a view on this. If enough people want it to stop and are annoyed by it then its possible to get an order against it.

From S Connor

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Liz - that sounds good. Do you know how to engage them? I've spoken to Town Hall, Police and EVH and drawn a blank each time… thanks

From Jed Bowers

Saturday, 14 May 2016

On a weekend take a trip to the bridge next to Calder Holmes park. There is a busker, think he's called Martin, who has a really melodic and simply lovely voice, even though he is miked, it is easy on the ears and not in your face - actually he should be the square!

From Bernard B

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Yep, you can't even go to the park to escape the onslaught.

From Stephen Redfern

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Last week the busker was given a statutory nuisance order or a abatement notice which he had to accept by the Environment Health Officer for Calderdale. This is part of the Environment Protection Act 1990.

Now, if he fails to comply, he risks having his equipment seized and confiscated (the council wanted to do this last time but no police officer was available at the time due to a large incident down the valley) or he simply moves about a bit around the valley, I know which I would choose.

Now it might sound a bit harsh to some but I have seen how aggressive he can be to people who dare to complain to him and it is quite shocking especially when the young kids just out of school herd one of his foul mouthed rants.

So because of that, good riddance.

From S Connor

Monday, 16 May 2016

Thanks for pursuing this Stephen. I really appreciate it and I am sure many other residents and businesses do too.

From Lisa P

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Hi Steve, I live on Bridge Gate, I have been having to listen to an amplified electric guitar for hours now, have shut my window on a beautiful day but can still hear it. Is there anything to be done about removing the amps?

From Paul Stagg

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

This debate turned up in a Google search on busking, and I'm hoping you'll allow me to add my loose change worth :)

I'm from the Isle of Wight and have been busking for years. We actually started a craze, as up to a couple of years ago we were the only ones busking here outside of Cowes Week.

We play Rockabilly, 2 guitars and a tea chest bass. If you're interested just put Tea n Biscuit Boys in Google and you'll find us.

Anyway, the use of amplification has got out of hand. There's acts turning up with full PA rigs, making it impossible for other buskers to be in the same street.

We go back to the time before the Island allowed street entertainment and so we had to be able to pack up quick if the law made an appearance. This was the case in the 80's during Cowes Week. Back then the whole Island it seemed took the week off work and descended on Cowes because the pubs were open all day for the week.

We use 1 little battery amp for the lead guitar and the rest of the noise we make is by playing hard and shouting.

Since the Island's law changed on street performing in the 90's we've never been moved on or had any complaints.

If this craze of mass amplification continues the Council will change the rules again and we might have to get the running shoes out again.



HebWeb Forum: Amplified busking menace (October 2015)

HebWeb Forum: Busking and amplification (April-July 2012)

HebWeb Forum: Busking in Hebden (August-Oct 2010)