Selling CDs on the street
Surprise, surprise! Rumour has it the local council has plans to charge buskers a fee for selling CDs on the street. A few years ago those of us who initiated the Bath Buskers Guide (an illustrated version of the traditional Bath Buskers Code) had many meetings with officials and made an agreement when the Guide was being finally written up, that we would be discreet about the selling of CDs. The officials wanted to take a harder line then but they did relax the rule on previously banned amplifiers. We were allowed to continue regulating ourselves and a few of us tried to encourage fellow buskers not to blatantly display signs selling CDs but it was in vain, together with attempts to keep the sound down to a reasonable level. It seems a few buskers ruin it for many and how can this be fair to our community and other users of the city centre? Do buskers not realize that shops pay high rates to trade and that street artists have to pay a licence?. It may be okay for a few professional buskers who can afford the proposed fee but what about buskers who can't even afford professional recording. It is stated clearly in the Bath Buskers Guide (the original Code of Practice) that street entertainers can accept donations but are not allowed to ask for money. Lets hope the local council, if this rumour is true, imposes a policy fair to all and be aware that this could be an inevitable move towards ultimate regulation that could impede on the freedoms we have enjoyed for so long on the streets of Bath.