BATH BUSKING UPDATE - July 2015
This website is an unofficial initiative by a few buskers and its founder/owner Fiona asked me to manage it so my best shot is to update it when I can. As it is a voluntary effort I would ask members of the public not to bombard the mailbox with requests to track down individual buskers for gigs and CDs. The website is for buskers to register and also serves as a conduit for important "official" information that affects buskers.
As busking in Bath is currently self-regulated the booking of pitches has relied on a traditional protocol handed down, but in recent years a small group of 24/7 buskers have changed the rules which sadly has excluded other buskers. Please first read The Bath Buskers Guide. The traditional protocol is fair to all and means we welcome buskers from further afield.
The only change to The Bath Buskers Guide is that the recently street-elected Bath buskers' rep Steve Robinson has told me the 10am meetings have stopped and the reason being it fuelled the 24/7 protective system of buskers booking all the pitches around the city when traditionally just the Abbey Churchyard pitch should be booked at 10am. This makes it fairer for visiting buskers who arrive in Bath after 10am and also attempt to address the problem of constant repeat repertoires and excessive amplified noise.
As street culture is based largely on rumour - the latest rumour is that the new PSPO laws have recently been enforced and orders served on at least one busker for excessive noise so please be aware you cannot just play as loudly as you like. A few of us have worked tirelessly over the years to try to persuade officials not to ban amplifiers. A few can ruin it for everyone.
This year a new CD Street Trading licence has been devised by the Council (with little or no prior consultation with buskers) but it is felt by a few buskers including Steve Robinson and myself that it will further encourage the protectionist system of booking pitches and create a two-tier busking system where a few will be happy to pay a £200 annual licence and will dominate the streets. Some buskers in other cities display a sign saying donations are accepted but displaying a sign with a price tag is street trading and others have to pay a licence. Buskers are only allowed to accept donations and are not allowed to beg.
We wish to promote the traditional spirit of the travelling minstrel and offer diverse street entertainment. So the idea is that if you arrive in Bath, as with some other cities, you just turn up and play and if you study The Bath Buskers Guide you will see the pitches are quite extensive as Bath is now very much a cafe culture but please be aware that the acoustics you enjoy in this compact city can have a negative effect on other city users.
Busker and website manager