Neighbours wary as buskers push to stay out later - Metro US

Neighbours wary as buskers push to stay out later

Vancouver buskers are looking to pump up the volume and stay out on the streets later — requests that are being supported by some downtown businesses but not area residents.

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA) is petitioning the city to extend busking hours past 10 p.m. and for permission for buskers to enhance sound using amplifiers.

Charles Gauthier, DVBIA executive director, said street performers liven up the city.

“If we don’t allow amplification, we run the risk of not having a vibrant busking community,” he said.

Gauthier added that buskers have to contend with urban noise, a special challenge without amplification.

The petitioners propose the creation of “busk stops” along Granville Street — or designated areas for entertainers.

“If people didn’t appreciate what we do, we wouldn’t be making $200 on a rainy day,” said busker Paul Clifford, who remarked that Toronto already uses a similar system of designated entertainment zones.

Amanda Kerr, who lives at Seymour and Nelson, just one block away from Granville Street, said she doesn’t like the idea at all.

“That would really suck,” she said. “The street is noisy enough as it is.”

Kerr added that many of her building’s occupants already have difficulty sleeping.

YJ Lee, who lives at Smithe and Howe streets, said he’s also not a fan of later and louder music.

“It’s a bad idea to relax the rules,” Lee said. “It (already) gets very loud and I can’t sleep at night. The music is really irritating.”

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