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Musicians stage ‘street jam’ to protest against Camden busking laws

13:00 26 March 2014

The street jam session in Camden Town. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

The street jam session in Camden Town. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Buskers staged a “street jam” in the heart of Camden to protest against controversial new rules to license busking in the borough.

Meet & Jam, a national network to enable musicians to meet up and jam, organised performances outside HSBC bank at the Brittania Junction, in Camden Town, on Sunday.

The performances were held to protest against new rules set to be introduced by Camden Council meaning anyone caught busking without a licence could be fined up to £1,000 and have their instruments confiscated. The use of amplifiers and wind instruments will be banned.

It follows an increase in complaints from residents about noise generated by street entertainers.

Busker and stand-up comedian Ben Van der Velde, a candidate for Camden Green Party in May’s local election, attended Sunday’s protest to lead an “illegal choir”.

He said: “It is a sad day when local government manages to legislate against the right to play music in public freely.”

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