Call on Galway City Councillors to vote AGAINST Street Performance & Busking Bye-Laws

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The Galway City Council are currently set to vote on the Galway City Council (Street Performance and Busking) Bye-Laws 2019.  These bye-laws, as currently written, not only ban all forms of amplification and circle acts including theatre, dance, sculpture, circus acts, acrobatics, clown, mime and magic from the protected streetscape before 6pm; they ban all busking after 11 pm, ban drum kits, completely restrict the freedom of expression for buskers, force buskers to stop if they draw a crowd and interfere with the way buskers queue.

These bye-laws will put most of our community off the streets, out of work, and by extension, drive many vibrant, gifted, diverse performers out of our city.

We are particularly concerned at the point in the draft bye-laws (point #8) that states ‘a street performer shall not act, say, do or sing anything likely to cause alarm, distress or offence to any member of the public, any business owner or occupier, the council, authorised persons, and/or any member of an Garda Siochána’ (the police) -- as we believe this point directly contravenes the right to freedom of expression guarunteed by the Irish Constitution and therefore seeks to take a constitutional right away from buskers.

We are calling on Galway City Councillors to vote against the 2019 draft Street Performance and Busking Bye-laws, and to undertake a new public consultation process, working with the Galway Buskers’ community, Councillors, businesses, and the public on a new mutually beneficial form of busking and street performance regulation.

Thank you.