Buskers could be forced to pay for a licence if they want to perform in Camden
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images
Buskers in Camden could be required to hold a licence to perform in public, following a surge in the number of nuisance noise complaints.
Under new draft guidelines drawn-up by the council, anyone wishing to perform live music in the borough will have to pay an annual fee of around £32.
The move has been prompted by a rise in both the number of buskers in Camden and the number of complaints from residents and business owners.
Town Hall bosses insist that it would be “light touch” regulation and is not intended to stop busking, while most forms of street entertainment would be exempt from needing a licence.
Under the policy, licensed buskers would be able to perform from 8am to 11pm, although this will be subject to change under the consultation.
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The use of amplifiers, megaphones, drums and wind instruments would not be permitted but applications can be made to remove the condition, depending on the location and times of the performance.
According to a report submitted to the council’s Licensing Committee, the local authority has received 50 busking complaints since April this year, compared to an average of six to 12 a year.
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The majority of complaints have been from Camden Town - a mecca for aspiring musicians - but there have also been complaints from Hampstead and Swiss Cottage.
The public consultation is due to begin in early September and last for one month before going to full council for approval.