Busking in Orlando

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Postby Steve Hook » 09/04/02 12:37 PM

There's an interesting pro-performer article in the Orlando Sentinel today. It concerns the performer/magician/busker being thrown out with the homeless bathwater. (OK...that <was> a particularly unappetizing metaphor...)

The article is at Street artists go begging for their day in the sun

Has anyone seen this dilemma faced in another city where the right to perform was won?

Steve H
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Postby Stefan Fisher » 09/04/02 05:06 PM

Although there are still occasional problems, San Francisco seems to have sorted it all out.
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Postby Steve Hook » 09/04/02 07:20 PM

I saw a great drummer / tap dancer duo there but still no magicians. Right place, wrong time I guess.

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Postby Guest » 09/04/02 08:33 PM

Steve, thanks for the link.

I've only seen two street performers in Orlando. Both were on Church Street and neither was a magician.

Today the only performance on Church Street is the passing of the tumbleweeds.

Postby Mitch Dutton » 09/05/02 05:34 AM

Steve - Savannah GA also had a controversy about street performers for a while. The riverfront area was a good place to work, I understand. However, there was a guy of questionable talents honking on a saxophone, driving away the tourists and driving the merchants crazy. So the city tried to ban all outdoor performers, then tried to license them... I have since moved away and don't know the outcome. It was a 'Big Deal' at the time, so you may find some articles about it online at Savannahnow.com

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Postby Steve Hook » 09/05/02 03:47 PM


Thanks! I found some information on the issue from 8/11/00.

Orlando <seems> to be handling the issue slowly and ineffectively but it's starting to look like it's because they're overwhelmed by the political / legal landmines.

At least the Orlando Sentinel wasn't as whacko liberal (in my opinion) as the Savannah Morning News was in the News\'s editorial .

They sided with the ACLU

Seems like it was either all entertainment / free speech chaos...or nothing.

In the meantime, I will keep researching it and will be a little more patient with the local legislature. Thanks again.

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Postby Guest » 09/05/02 04:15 PM

Steve Hook:

As one, I can assure you it is spelled "wacko" liberal.

I would say lobbying for less government interference in one's life sounds more Libertarian than Liberal.

--Randy Campbell

Postby Steve Hook » 09/06/02 06:09 PM


How wacko of me to misspell that.

And I apologize for the ultra-liberal application of political labels.

If you had read the latter two articles, maybe you could have seen how I'd be so upset. ;)

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Postby Brian Marks » 09/19/02 09:28 PM

The proper politically correct terms are the left wing wackos and right wing nuts. The keeping of government out of street performing has political ideas from both sides depending who is in office of mayor and city council at the time the issue comes up.
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Postby Guest » 09/20/02 02:35 PM

Actually, the right to perform on the street is purely American, and neither right nor left wing. That's been borne out over the last few decades by court decision after court decision. It *always* goes in the street performer's favor--that is, if they have a lawyer to go the distance for them.

As author of the book, *Be a Street Magician!: A How-To Guide* (Aha! Press, 1998, $30, now available almost exclusively from me), I can tell you that this battle is fought over and over again all across the country.

It invariably goes like this:

Street performer starts performing on a regular basis.

Merchant complains about either noise or crowds blocking their doorway or some such.

Cops tell the street performer that what they're doing is illegal.

Street performer resists.

Cops gives him a ticket.

Ticket gets thrown out of court by judge.

Street performer gets more tickets. Those, too, are thrown out of court.

City attorney confers with merchants, who complain that street performing is bad for business, that it conjures up images of beggars. City attorney says that it's legal. Merchants pull strings. City attorney and police try to make it very difficult for street performer, in essence harassing him or them.

Street performer enlists an attorney if he's lucky. It may take a year or two for the whole process, but when it finally goes to court, city always loses.

We got a Constitution, man. Freedom of speech. It's not a left or right political thing, it's what it means to be an American.

Will cities never learn?

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