On my way back from the Fremantle Festival parade yesterday I noticed this busker in a rather awkward location in the High Street mall. I am not sure if he played Brazilian music. ; >)
Photos like these make me love street photography so much as it is all about being in the right location at the right time, and one can’t plan for it.
I am a big fan of so-called street photography and love to pick up those unexpected, not planned quirky photos around Fremantle. I took this one this Sunday morning.
The announcement by the City of Fremantle that buskers who use amplified music will have to get a permit is already a controversial one and not much liked in the muso community.
I quite understand the outrage in our over-regulated society that yet again a new permit is needed to just be creative and earn a bit of cash, but I also understand that it can be highly annoying for people in shops and cafes to have to listen to music that is too loud.
But what will happen to music like drums, that is not amplified but can still be very intrusive, and will the buskers outside the Fremantle Markets also need to apply because many of them use amplifiers to enhance their voices, play taped music or increase the sound of their instruments.
As with all things permits probably cost money, money some buskers might not have and is the reason why they busk.
Often the level of the music is not the issue and Council regulation is not what is required, instead what is needed is a really good and honest friend to tell some buskers they can’t sing.
The City of arts is pandering to the business community, which would prefer a sterile shopping centre atmosphere in Fremantle, one without beggars, buskers, food trucks, etc.
The inner city residents group FICRA is not happy with buskers who play amplified music in the inner city and want the City of Fremantle to do something about it.
I believe COF already had decided to turn down the music that is sometimes far too loud, and sadly often those who sing out of tune do it at high volume. I always wonder, like at TV talent shows, why friends and family don’t tell people they can’t sing before they publicly humiliate themselves, but that’s another story.
Buskers are great and help activate the city and make it feel vibrant and lively but is amplified music and whole drum kits still busking?
On the other hand I strongly believe that Western Australia is far too over-regulated. There are so many things we are no longer allowed to do that it makes overseas visitors question our free and easy and fair go urban myth that no longer appears to be current.
No one hopefully will want to stop the music and the fun, but I appreciate it can be highly-annoying to have to listen for hours to bad music played at high volume.
To make my point clear from the beginning I don’t consider loud noise entertainment or music, but I do support good busking around Fremantle. Amplified busking has become a bit of a nuisance and that will need to be regulated, but I do not support the banning of buskers from the High Street Mall, Cappuccino Strip or elsewhere in the CBD.
Busking is good entertainment that attracts people as we witness every weekend in front of the Fremantle Markets. Street art performers are also highly appreciated and attract thousands to come to Fremantle from all over Perth on the Easter long weekend.
Let’s also not forget that quite a few now famous musicians started their career as buskers, John Butler is one of them!
According to Councillor Andrew Sulllivan business owners in the mall can move buskers on when they are too close to their buildings, so I suggest that buskers perform near the trees and the centre of the mall where private owners and their security officers have no authority whatsoever to move anyone on.
But please leave your amplifiers at home and make sure your standard of singing or playing an instrument is good enough to share with the public!
ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.
Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield.
This is a very worrying Facebook entry I was sent about buskers being banned from the Fremantle High Street mall:
Facebook: Anina Coco Burns to Mayor Brad Pettitt
” Hey Brad, was busking down at Culleys today but was approached by crowd control before setting up..apparently a new vote was passed by business holders to not have buskers outside shopfronts. My family and I have been playing music on the streets of Fremantle long before those shops were there and I dare say afterwards. I noticed you there, collecting your paper and smiling at your busy contractors with their noisy crane. i was not honoured the same friendliness by you or your crowd control…quite honestly if you want this agenda of no busking at shopfronts then you need to provide signed areas promoting busker friendly zones which is cheaper than the labour of hiring crowd control to target individual buskers. In the markets there is a sign sheet and designated spots..this approach is far more encouraging…I still made money and passerby’s were happy enjoying the ambience which was better for the guitar as opposed your construction workers. And to finalize my point I could clearly see another busker booked in a shopfronts window next to 7-11 who was not targeted by crowd control..couldn’t be my playing cause I hadn’t started yet…why the distinct prejudice? Not so flavoursome.😟 ”
13 October 2015
There are several issues here:
# I am not aware the City of Fremantle has officically passed a policy to no longer allow busking in the High Street mall or CBD.
# Were the “crowd control” officers City of Fremantle Security or a private security company contracted to local businesses?
# If they were officers of a private company they cannot force buskers out of the mall as the mall is a public open space and not private property.
# Does the city of arts now ban buskers from shopping areas while wanting to approve large open air concerts in residential areas?
# Does the City have double standards when it comes to noise control and protects retailers from noise but not residents?
This is very unpalatable to me. I do believe the use of amplified music by buskers could be reduced but I do not support a broad ban on busking in the inner city. It’s boring enough as it is.
ROEL FOR FREO! Beaconsfield Ward. Truly Independent.
Written and authorised by Roel Loopers of 5 Maxwell Street, Beaconsfield 6162