Barred Temple Bar buskers to get Grafton Street reprieve

New bylaws set time limits and ban performances with knives, swords and flames

With a proposed change for Dublins busking laws on the horizon Olivia Kelly asked some buskers for their reaction.


Buskers will be banned from Temple Bar but will be allowed to perform on Grafton Street until 1am if new bylaws are approved by Dublin City Council.

The new rules would require buskers to pay to perform on the city’s streets and would set time limits on performances as well as banning the use of knives, swords, saws, axes and flames.

Complaints from the public and businesses about street performers have “increased significantly” in recent years, the council said. These mainly relate to loud continuous noise, obstruction of premises, disturbing city residents at night and intimidation by some performers seeking donations.

In 2012 the council introduced a voluntary code of conduct for a three-month trial with 185 street performers agreeing to abide by it. Initially it resulted in a decrease in complaints, but they started to rise again.

Last year the council drafted bylaws which would have allowed busking until 3am on Saturday and Sunday mornings on Grafton Street and in Temple Bar, required no permits and would not have prohibited busking in any area. They did, however, ban the use of drums.

However, before the bylaws were ratified by the council, the Garda said they would be difficult to enforce without a permit system. Businesses, many of whom had sought a ban on the use of amplifiers, also said the bylaws were too lax.

Under the proposed new bylaws all performers will have to get an annual permit costing €30. Those wanting to use amplifiers will have to pay an additional €60. No busking will be allowed in Temple Bar or in front of the GPO on O’Connell Street. In all other areas busking will be allowed between 9am and 11pm, except on Grafton Street, where it will be allowed until 1am on Saturdays and Sundays.

Performers can only stay in one spot for two hours and must move at least 250 metres away if they want to continue performing. They can’t return to the same place twice in 24 hours.

City councillors will next week be asked to approve the draft bylaws, after which they will be available for public consultation and would, if given final sanction by councillors, come into force early next year.