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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Permits/Do you need one . (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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JoeJoe
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Myrtle Beach
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Quote:
On Jun 13, 2014, Yehoshua wrote:
Nope, JoeJoe is right about this...


Now there's a phrase you don't hear around here very often ... haha

The way I define things, if you are not hating your audience you are a "street performer", whereas if you are hating your audience you are a "busker".


Back to the original post, the best resource for determining if you need a permit would be Municode - here you look up the local/state regulations for any particular area.

http://www.municode.com/



-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
Dave V
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To be clear, I really hope JoeJoe meant "hatting" as in passing the hat, not "hating"

Or maybe not. I've seen both.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
JoeJoe
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Yes, I meant hatting. Spell checker suggestion, I didn't question it ... I guess not many academics consider "hat" a verb. Smile

-JoeJoe
Amazing JoeJoe on YouTube[url=https://www.youtube.com/user/AmazingJoeJoe]
MagiCol
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Dargaville, New Zealand
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Here's my opinion and experience about busking permits. It works for me. Some readers may see things differently, and that is their choice and probably affected by their experiences and lack of them. Do what works for you.

Sometimes it pays to be, or act as it, ignorant of official requirements. Busking laws probably get made because at some time, maybe many years earlier, somebody in that city caused a ruckus over insisting/persisting in busking in a way that resulted in nearby shoppers, strollers, shopkeepers, tourists complaining to the authority. The response is that a by-law gets made.

There is a difference between a law, and the enforcement of the law. If things are peaceful on the street, quite likely people [shoppers, shopkeepers, cops, tourists] wont see a need to complain or enforce a law. So, ask local buskers what's the custom, and how to fit in.
If you do get accosted by someone, try to deal with it peacefully if you can.
If a security fellow or a cop tells you "No busking" he is probably right. Let him feel like he is doing his job by asking politely for more information.
That will appeal to his ego, as "the one who knows'.
If you argue, that's likley to stir up his reaction to insist that he is right in order for him to save face and so he will enforce things. It's time to agree to move elsewhere before things turn nasty for you. No point hanging around kicking the hornets' nest.
Now it's time to go to the local council or city hall or the department of the private shopping mall to check on the by-law or whatever. If a permit is what it takes, then
get one if it's important to you to busk in that particular area.

When I was early into busking I thought it must be great to be in United States because there were so many cities with population, tourist spots, etc. compared to little New Zealand with maybe 10 cities you could busk in. Yeah, mabve 10 cities in the whole country [mostly comprised of the two major islands with 4 million population].
But the more I found out about busking in USA cities, the more I found out about how policed the busking restrictions seem to be.
At least here in New Zealand things are a lot more relaxed. A major influence on life-style is the European background of settlement and laws. In the largest city, Auckland, if you're busking - particuarly in the downtown area - and a council worker comes up and asks if you have a performing permit, if you don't, they write out on for you on the spot. How's that for convenient??
And in the city I busk most regularly in, I havent had a permit for the six years Ive been busking there, although one is officially required. Latetly the popular busking public mall has been so populated with buskers [mostly musicians I would say] the city came up with a proposal: Those who don't have a permit will be allowed to busk for an hour a day, for three days a week, with no need for a permit. Otherwise they'll need to get a permit from the Council.
I'll continue as I have and see what happens.
The presentation makes the magic.
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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Quote:
On Jun 12, 2014, imgic wrote:
Ah...Chance...there's a name from the past. Wonder how he's doing with his lawsuits...

While I advocate for busking, I've also said one must look at the environment and take it into consideration. If you're busking in front of store and your crowds disrupt their business, guess what...they're going to take action to do something about it. If your pitch is in an area where panhandleing has increased and is disrupting business...the business owners, residents, and government will take action. I saw that happen on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin. Then beggars were getting very aggressive..getting right into your face demanding change. They passed ordinance stating you couldn't directly ask for money, which killed busking there. Not sure what buskers can do to prevent or turnaround increased aggressive panhandling...but it impacts the pitch.

Lastly, a point I'd argued with Chance in the past...busking may not be considered free speech. You are seeking to engage in a business transaction. You are providing a service (entertainment) in exchange for money. The busking business model is a bit different...you wait until after services are rendered to then get paid...and you allow your customers to determine the rate. But basically, it's a business deal. At which point it is subject to regulation.

I don't believe busking should be regulated...I'm just pointing out the logic that may be used to justify regulation...


Newspapers, radios and television stations are also engaged in a business transaction, but their speech is protected under the Constitution. I think your average cop would be more likely to suppress a busker under the idea that he/she is interfering with the free flow of traffic on the sidewalk (even if they're not, it's your word against his). I think this is why "buskers" are harassed and actual "beggars" are not. No crowd stops to watch a beggar.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
tommeepickles
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New Orleans
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Some things I have found in my travels, not all pitches are listed on wikipedia. Second, free expression on public property can also be limited by blocking a sidewalk with your act or your crowd blocking a pathway. Third there are regulations for busking but cannot ask or encourage tipping, which means no sign or bucket with writing on it. The best advice I have gotten and given is try first, when you are told to stop, stop and then ask for more information on the law or a place to look it up.
MagiCol
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Dargaville, New Zealand
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Ed wrote: No crowd stops to watch a beggar.
That's right. Beggars seem to specialize in looking "run-down". At times when I see them just sitting there I think "Get up and DO something!" Some are too zonked out to be able to do that. And for some I reckon it never enters their head that for a few dollars from their hat they could buy a simple musical instrument and at least try to play it and do something to earn themselves some money. Of course, that requires using initiative...
The presentation makes the magic.
ed rhodes
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I remember an article on busking in Magic Magazine. (sorry, too lazy to go look it up) there was a picture of the magician performing for a girl with a street person sitting nearby carrying a sign that read "No Talent"
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
MagicMattMan
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Tampa, FL
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Great article that just came out :http://gravitydefiance.net/wp/yes-busking-permits-in-the-usa-are-illegal/
"For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, none will suffice." -Joseph Dunninger



"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."Hebrews 13:2
ed rhodes
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I'd have to wonder why he was having problems with "private cops" unless he was trying to busk on private property. Other than that, good article.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
augiemagic
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Overland Park, KS
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It sounds like he was talking about privately owned/managed public space. Here is an article describing that:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/pops/pops.shtml

and Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privately_owned_public_space

These spaces might have private security, but are still considered public space. An example (I think) might be the sidewalks in front of the casinos in Vegas. While there are cops regularly patrolling, there are also private security guards that will come hassle street performers. I had that happen in front of the Forum Shops at Caesars last year.

Casino security came up and tried to intimidate me off the spot by standing way too close to me (as in breathing right down my neck and getting in my personal space), and walking between me and my crowd saying "Folks, if you want to see a magic show, there are real professional magicians appearing nightly at many of these casinos." Also tried to run me off and tell me the cops would confiscate my table because of their b/s public storage laws.

I turned my amp up, blew him out, and carried on. The crowd mostly left, but at least I made him work for it.
ed rhodes
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We have a similar situation here in Rhode Island. We have a carousel/playground in the public park that's managed by someone.

http://www.providenceri.gov/parks-and-rec/carousel-village

The original manager let me perform after it was made clear I wasn't selling anything. (There were independent vendors at the location, but they'd paid for vendor's licenses.) The new guy wasn't certain he wanted to allow me there. Major problem is, he's added a "train ride" that goes around the carousel area and past the playground and frankly, any crowd I generated would be in the way.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
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