Complaints about buskers fall dramatically after bylaw review

Bongos, trumpet player and Ed Sheeran cover versions prompted locals to file grievances

Complaints to Dublin City Council about noisy buskers have fallen dramatically after changes to bylaws restricted street performers to just one hour and banned amplification.

However, noisy saxophone players, roaming trumpeters and a man playing Ed Sheeran songs in Temple Bar still prompted locals to file grievances with the council in the last three months.

While Sheeran may have sold more than 300,000 tickets for a record eight shows in Ireland next year, cover versions of his songs did not impress the denizens of Dublin city centre.

One complainant emailed the council in June asking inspectors to move along a man collecting coins in return for his cover version.


“The only song he’s been playing is Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You. Over and over again,” they wrote.

The person had phoned Pearse Street gardaí four times before complaining to the council but did not manage to get an answer, they said.

“He played one other song once and the other one clearly because it’s the only one he knows how to play and he knows Ed Sheeran’s fans will give him coinage. Two drinkers joined in for the last couple of performances,” they wrote.

Same tune

Another complaint in June about a tin whistle player outside Crampton Buildings in Temple Bar bemoaned the fact that he was “playing the same tune over and over”.

“He’s just learning it as he’s got a note sheet in front of him.”

In May, a complainant about someone playing bongos in Temple Bar also said they had made “repeated” calls to gardaí and had been told, “We are only instructed to move them on. We can’t arrest people for playing the bongos.”

A spokeswoman for the council said fewer than 90 complaints were received between April and June of this year, but that the majority of those were repeat complaints from two businesses. This compares to a period from March to September 2015, when 408 individual complaints were received.