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High Court upholds Camden busking restrictions

By | Published on Wednesday 12 March 2014

Keep Streets Live

The High Court has upheld new busking restrictions in Camden, meaning street performers in the borough will have to buy licences and adhere to certain restrictions.

As previously reported, the Council insists that the new licensing process is “light touch regulation” designed mainly to deal with complaints about amplified and louder percussion-based busking. A basic twelve month licence will cost £19, though certain kinds of performance will require a £47 advanced licence which might have other limitations attached. Once licensed buskers will usually be able to play anywhere that its safe to play in the borough between 10am and 9pm.

The court case against the restrictions was launched by the Keep Streets Live campaign, which gained support from celebrities including Billy Bragg, who himself busked around Camden at the start of his career, as well as comedians Mark Thomas and Bill Bailey. The Musicians’ Union has also spoken out against the changes.

Following the court ruling on the matter, Bragg told CMU: “Camden claim that this new bylaw is designed to curb the use of amplifiers by buskers ‘late into the evening’. If so, why not target amplified busking after 6pm rather than coming up with this blanket restriction on all types of busking?”

A spokesperson for the Keep Streets Live Campaign has confirmed that it will appeal against yesterday’s court decision.