Dublin’s buskers will be allowed to use amplifiers, rules Council

Bylaws regulate street performances, requiring buskers to buy annual permits

The bylaws for the first time regulate street performances in the city, requiring buskers to buy annual permits costing €30, or €60 for an amplifier, to perform on the streets

The bylaws for the first time regulate street performances in the city, requiring buskers to buy annual permits costing €30, or €60 for an amplifier, to perform on the streets

 

Dublin’s buskers will be allowed to use amplifiers, but must restrict their noise levels to 80 decibels, and 75 decibels in Temple Bar, under new bylaws approved by city councillors.

The bylaws for the first time regulate street performances in the city, requiring buskers to buy annual permits costing €30, or €60 for an amplifier, to perform on the streets, and set time limits on performances.

Pleas by Dublin residents and businesses for buskers to be banned from using amplifiers on the city’s streets fell on deaf ears, despite renewed appeals in recent days.

Draft bylaws were last November made available for public consultation and almost 90 submissions were received. More than 80 per cent said their main concern was excessive noise and half of those sought an outright ban on amplification.

However assistant chief executive Brendan Kenny said banning amplifiers “may be too extreme” and he instead recommended introducing a sound limit of 80 decibels in the immediate vicinity of the performer.

The council instead proposed to designate a “public domain officer” to patrol the city measuring noise levels created by buskers. Those found to be consistently exceeding 80 decibels would have their permit revoked, and could be removed from the street by gardaí, Mr Kenny said.

Several councillors raised concerns that the noise limit would be difficult to enforce and Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said a ban on amplifiers in all areas should be introduced on a six-month trial basis.

Green Party councillor Ciarán Cuffe said the residents of Temple Bar had an entitlement to “quiet times” and it was a reasonable compromise not to allow amplification in that residential area. But these proposals were not accepted by councillors.

Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Michael O’Brien said the bylaws were unworkable, and said he had hit 90 decibels speaking in the council chamber.