The soundtrack to our city. And a notable gateway for budding Irish talent.
A disappointing day for the people and music-lovers of Dublin as new by-laws were passed by Dublin City Council to impose restrictions on busking in the city.
Let me start off by saying that there is a line between restrictions and bans, so this is not the end of Dublin’s vibrant culture, but it’s certainly a step towards a fatal demolish of what makes it the city we know.
So what keeps busking so close to the Irish heart? First and foremost, it’s the leading outlet for a lot of our up and coming performers – in music and other areas of entertainment. It’s our personality and our true attraction for all tourists and visitors. It’s a means of income for many, entertainment for others, and a feeling of pride to all who walk down a lively Grafton street or a cultural Temple Bar.
As we look at the passed laws to restrict all noise to a maximum of 80 decibels, and to enforce the necessity of a permit for all buskers in the city, as well as a complete ban on busking between Temple Bar square and Eustace Street, of course our art is restricted. But is it the happy medium we need to settle for to save our busking for the most part?
In saying this, we can all still wonder – if it’s not broken, why fix it? With the exception of a minor number of retailer complaints, the city has never but flourished as a result of our busking traditions, and with the saturated masses of other issues surrounding the nation, why target the buskers? Why target the creatives, the individualists, and the icons that our country has to offer?
The talent and heroes that have come out of our country, who all started their journey busking is phenomenal. Artists ranging from the likes of U2 and Bono, Glen Hansard and Damien Rice, to the more recent ground-breakers Hudson Taylor, and Grafton street regulars Keywest.
(Video by Andrew Jordan)
Before the knowledge of the passing of these laws, we took to social media to gather just a couple of opinions from the people of Dublin.
You see, as the advances in technology and social media deliver such amazing platforms for musicians, they also bring setbacks. When an artist sits day after day watching their Spotify streams reach a higher total than the previous, when they see the Apple music thumbnail on screenshots across Twitter or on the ipods of strangers on the Luas and know they haven’t paid a cent for that four track EP they worked tirelessly on, what hearts do our city leaders have to rip them of that final straw to earn a euro or two?
Time will tell how much of an impact these restrictions have on our animated streets, but this is our city, our country, and our budding talent for the future.
Discussions are still happening under #SaveIrishBusking. Tweet us with any thoughts – @FortitudeMag or myself directly – @WynonaGrant. Keep your voices heard.