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Gothenburg lifts limits on street musicians

David Landes · 11 Sep 2010, 11:35

Published: 11 Sep 2010 11:35 GMT+02:00

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The council’s decision, taken Friday afternoon, nullifies rules which came into force in June 2009 that placed limits on the times and places where street musicians could play and required performers to seek permits from police to play in central Gothenburg during business hours.

Within seconds of the decision, Green Party council member Karin Pleijel decided to show her enthusiasm for the reversal by pulling out a ukulele and strumming a few bars in the council chambers, angering council chair Jörgen Linder.

“It was just a way to show our thanks that this happened and say thank you to the Gothenburg town council for making such a wise decision,” Pleijel told SR.

Pleijel admitted that her actions were “out of order” but made no indication that she regretted her spontaneous performance.

The 2009 ordinance resulted in a wave of public protests from musicians and residents who felt the council had acted with a heavy hand in response to complaints from shop owners and employees who found the street performers’ music disruptive.

“Imagine having a tape player at your workplace with loud accordions or something like that playing three songs with only half the notes in tune. How long do you think you could stand to listen before you pushed the off-button?” Madeleine Oom Wahlberg, who represents business owners on Gothenburg’s main commercial thoroughfare, Avenyn (‘The Avenue’), told SR when the ordinance was initially passed.

The decision taken Friday doesn’t give street performers free rein, however.

Story continues below…

While scrapping the permit requirement, the council decision now requires musicians to play for no more than one hour at a time in the same location, and good judgment should be applied when using amplifiers.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:55 September 11, 2010 by Mb 65
That's crazy i dislike having that noise when i am out none of them can play a decent tune it's just another form of begging.
16:43 September 11, 2010 by occassional
How about solving the student housing shortage which is probably caused because of the very same 'musicians' occupying the houses.
10:22 September 12, 2010 by hilt_m
I like the fact that if you are really strapped for cash and can play a tune you can make a little cash busking. I am far more inclined to give money to a busker then to a person on the train shoving a laminated card in my face.
15:14 September 12, 2010 by AndreaGerak
"Where there is music, there is no evil" - Cervantes,

"Music is the food for the soul" - and so on, and so on.

Which means that those who are trying to SUPPRESS music, - well, you figure it out.

Grattis, Göteborg!!!

Now what about lifting the restrictions in Stockholm, around Gamla stan and Drottninggatan? Where most often it's street musicians who give ANY life to the place, and there are some really good ones... (now, where guitarists, jazz band etc used to play beautifully in Drottninggatan, some crap is coming from the speakers at H&M, Pub etc, day & night :-( - THAT is allowed!!)

That should be the next step. Will Stockholm grow up to Göteborg? :-)
21:42 October 1, 2010 by lensart
I think street musicians should be required to prove that they can play more than two notes on their 'instrument' and that they can keep it in tune... I can still hear the noise of one East European woman, who was blowing into a recorder, ringing in my ears, 'dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee doo"
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