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Old 08-01-05, 02:41 AM   #41
harmonicakev
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Default another update

Hi buskers and others,
Saw two groups sharing the Sam Adams Park (aka Dock Square) this past Saturday afternoon. One group looked to be some kind of dance act, just saw the very beginning of their show....the other group was doing acrobatics, at least for their finale... at least two woman, at least 1 man, with matching costumes....they seemed to have a decent crowd... it was a mostly cloudy day, which is better for that spot...Ciao - Kev
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Old 07-13-11, 02:44 PM   #42
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Would you say that Harvard sq. is a good night pitch and are there any other good night pitches in boston: bars, restaurant areas etc...
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Old 07-15-11, 06:39 PM   #43
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Harvard Square in 2011? How much does a permit cost? Personally, I'm not sure it's worth it....who knows, maybe this is the year Harvard Square street performing makes a comeback?
I have no current personal knowledge except as a spectator, but my answer would be, no, I wouldn't say that Harvard sq. is a good night pitch...if you should happen to try it and prove me wrong, I would love to hear about it.
If you do music, the subways are still ok. There's lots of info at the MBTA's homepage.

Ciao - Kevin M....Sing-along with Kevin M.
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Old 10-23-11, 01:12 PM   #44
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Default 2011 update - Greater Boston

Musicians seen busking in Davis Sq., (Somerville) throughout the spring and summer, mostly on weekend nights.
Harvard Sq. - not much going on
Boston - Stopped by on Columbus Day, saw acts in Cristopher Columbus park.
Saw solo jugglers at Quincy Market, both on the West End and on South Market St.
Have heard multiple reports of musicians in the Public Gardens

The "T" - it would seem that tips are down, as I notice that there is less competition for spots lately.

Ciao- kevin m
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Old 10-24-11, 02:40 AM   #45
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Haven't there been at least 4 U.S. Supreme Court rulings protecting busking as free speech and therefore not subject to licensing/banning? Or did I dream this?
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Old 10-24-11, 10:44 AM   #46
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Yes, but more of Boston is private property than you might think.
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Old 10-24-11, 12:30 PM   #47
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Haven't there been at least 4 U.S. Supreme Court rulings protecting busking as free speech and therefore not subject to licensing/banning? Or did I dream this?
Yes, but I have been busking for abound 15 years now and I have learned a couple of things. If the locals tell you to stop because it's illegal to busk, get the hell out and don't busk. Nobody cares about what the Supremes say and if you want to push it, then it's going to cost you some serious cash. First for the fine then for an attorney to fight it. Just not worth the effort or the time. Just move on to someplace that's friendly.
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Old 10-24-11, 02:13 PM   #48
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Default Busking in Boston

Peter

Please tell me someplace that is busker friendly.

Thanks Shel
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Old 10-24-11, 06:08 PM   #49
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Peter

Please tell me someplace that is busker friendly.

Thanks Shel
San Francisco is. We also have a tradition of people such as Robin Williams and Robert Shields (a mime) having started on the streets here.

Santa Cruz has an interesting situation. The make a big to-do about limiting busking, but there are actually two designated places to busk, but they don't tell anybody about them outright. You have to inquire to find out the exact spots. Yet, there's a longtime busker, The Great Morgani, who has busked in the "wrong" place for years and gets away with it anyway. Here's a link to him: http://thegreatmorgani.com/

I've had a busking license for Santa Monica, which is required apparently. However, I notice that the ordinance mentions all kinds of places there busking is either banned or is regulated, but they specifically don't mention parks, so I think I can rightly assume that parks are perfectly ok.

Los Angeles, especially Venice Beach has a long history of busking without any problem from the authorities, either.

Portland allows busking but at designated places such as at Saturday Market with a signup sheet. I'm sure it's okay at Pioneer Courthouse Square because I've seen it, but I've never attempted it there.
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Old 10-31-11, 06:23 AM   #50
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RE: First Amendment rights - The state is allowed to regulate time , place, and manner. In practice they are able to require permits; i.e I've never heard of a court not allowing liscencing of protected activity.
I agree with what Peter says. Local law enforcement officials are not necessarily up to date on the latest in civil rights court cases. Better to live to perform another day, without injury to yourself or your equipment.
The MBTA in Boston is somewhat different. Here we were able to come to an agreement allowing music in the subways because the politicians supported us. This was a fight that went on for more than 15 years, involved a lot of time an effort on the parts of various performers led by Steve Baird, and pro bono lawyers. So, worth it to those of us who live here, probably not a worthwhile pursuit if your just passing through.
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Old 10-31-11, 12:33 PM   #51
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Peter

Please tell me someplace that is busker friendly.

Thanks Shel
A LOT of places are willing to leave us alone. When on the road for any reason I always carry my kit and set up for a while every place I go. I've worked Chicago, Minneapolis, thru Canada, Orlando FL. just a few spots. Have I been told to stop, yeppers. just told the cop I was passing thru and didn't know the local rules, then asked the cop where I could busk. Found some good pitches that way.
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Old 10-31-11, 02:41 PM   #52
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Default Busking in Boston

Peter

Where in Orlando? How long ago?

Thanks Shel
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Old 10-31-11, 06:14 PM   #53
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Peter

Where in Orlando? How long ago?

Thanks Shel
Our hotel was across from Universal Studios, Think it was Doubletree, so I worked that area, a couple of restaurants plus anywhere I could build a crowd. This was about 4 years ago, and I made enough busking to pay for the convention my wife attended plus our trip expenses Plus over $1000. now I was there for a week so this didn't happen on a Sat afternoon.
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Old 08-12-12, 05:23 PM   #54
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Default Harvard Sq. in 2012

Hi fellow buskers and supporeters of street performing,

Went to Harvard Square this past Friday night around 8 pm, i.e. what used to be prime time for busking in the Square. Saw exactly zero (0) street performers. Not much of a crowd out either..it had been raining lightly earlier, hardly enough to require an umbrella. Years ago, the time directly following even a heavy rain in the summer would be very good; apparently no longer.
On the plus side, I have received reports from other buskers that both the Public Garden and the Boston Common are open for busking, with or without amplifiers.
Ciao - Kev
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Old 08-24-12, 12:29 AM   #55
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There are also buskers on Boston Common and around Frogs Pond (kids area)
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Old 08-24-12, 12:34 AM   #56
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There are also buskers on Boston Common and around Frogs Pond (kids area)
I was just going to say "Boston Common." No matter if I am day drinking, or night drinking on the benches, I always see a bunch of people! Seems like a good place indeed
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Old 09-29-12, 05:43 PM   #57
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Default BU Free Press

Hi folks,
I'm putting the text of an article here, because I'm not sure about the link.

Public Garden street performers entertain onlookers despite perceived nuisanceWritten by Sanah FarokePublished Sep 27, 2012Email This PostComments (2)A line of musicians runs the street from Boston Common to the Public Garden, featuring everything from a Hurdy Gurdy to a one-man band.


Street performers such as “Hurdy Gurdy” Donald Heller entertain people in public places like the Boston Public Garden. PHOTO BY SARAH FAROKE/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
The performances have led to the occasional noise complaint, many onlookers said they see the musicians as a part of the park experience.

“[My wife and I] came [to Boston] to visit our sons, and we didn’t leave,” said Donald Heller, the “Hurdy Gurdy Man.” “That was almost three years ago. I always play wherever I go.”

Heller is a street performer in the Boston Garden who said he plays almost every day, accompanied by his dog Mackie.

He plays a Hurdy Gurdy, a stringed musical instrument in the shape of a violin, made by Stan Montagnon.

Heller said it is not hard to play and is played almost everywhere throughout Europe.

“This is a French one in the style of 17th century that was built for me 31 years ago,” he said of the one he plays.

As Heller began to play his Hurdy Gurdy, he attracted a crowd.

“He’s great,” said Adam Smith, a graduate student from Vermont College of Fine Arts who said he sees Heller often on his days off.

While the music is nice and may lift the spirit of some passers-by, other pedestrians said they find street performers in the park to be a bother.

Boston Park Ranger Marrero said people complain once in a while if the musicians are too loud.

“They’re not supposed to have an amplifier,” he said.

And while noise can be an issue for pedestrians, the street performers have their own issues. “Sometimes they start fights with one another because they want the position,” Marrero said.

This is when park rangers try to diffuse the tension, Marrero said, although rangers are not allowed to kick performers out.

“It’s not illegal to have street performers [in The Boston Garden],” Marrero said.

Not all street performers perform in the Boston Garden for a living. Some, such as “the Hurdy Gurdy Man,” perform actual gigs.

“If you just play street music, that means you never got to a level where you can present to a lot of people,” said Anicet Heller, Donald Heller’s wife.

She said “you have to have real gigs” to make a living from performing.

Many people in the park said they appreciate the sounds street performers bring to the park experience.

“I think it [the music] is part of the park experience. It transports you because you don’t hear the traffic,” said Carol Newton, a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“It’s the full experience. The nature, being outside and the art,” said Hailey Rutt, a freshman at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Heller said he makes up his own songs and often improvises from the names and physical characteristics of audience members.

“If you’re playing music in a public place, you want to make music for other people to listen,” Newton said.

Sarah Hagens, a freshman at Bay State College, said weddings are more of a nuisance than the performers.

“I think you should always follow your dream,” she said. “If it’s performing, then so be it.”
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Old 09-29-12, 05:46 PM   #58
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Default and the url

and here is the url, for what it's worth:

http://dailyfreepress.com/2012/09/27...ived-nuisance/

Kevin M
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Old 01-18-13, 10:58 PM   #59
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Default BIG grain of salt..

Here is the wikepedia article on street performance:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_performance

Two glaring issues -

1. "(in the ) United States there has been a rebirth of this art form as the new millennium has started."

The rebirth actually happened in the late Seventies and early Eighties, at least in Boston and Cambridge. NOW, in 2013, things have been on a downswing for all entertainers, street or otherwise.

2. They listed a bunch of US locations, but NOT Boston!

btw, busking in the subway is as good as ever.

Ciao - kevin M
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Old 04-06-13, 12:19 PM   #60
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Default Busking in Davis Square Somerville, MA.!

A 20 minute subway ride away from Boston is Davis Square in Somerville.

www.thesomervillenews.com/archives/36785

Ciao-kevin M.

ww.singalongwithkevinm.com
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