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Old 08-12-02, 07:46 AM   #1
Eric Starkey
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Post Seeing New Orleans Street Performances???

Greetings,
I will be in New Orleans at the end of this month (Aug. 24-26) and I have seen several people on this list mention that they perform in N.O.

Anyway, I am curious who/where/when I should see busking in the Big Easy...

I look forward to your replies.

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Old 08-19-02, 01:03 AM   #2
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Eric, This time of year (dogdays of summer) is not peak season for buskers here. Plus there has been a police crackdown which has had a further effect.
But the usual places are- Jackson Square, mainly the Cathedral side, or over on the steps by the river, or Royal Street by day when they block of the traffic, and by night on Bourbon Street. Happy hunting.
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Old 08-19-02, 09:41 AM   #3
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Thank you very much for your reply.
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Old 08-23-02, 07:40 PM   #4
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Hey, Worldwidesse -- The Glassman here. I've been on the road for a month now & keep hearing distressing rumbles about "the police crackdown." With the new council person, Jackie Clarkson, being on record as anti-street performance and someone else's comment on the new 8th Dist. captain doing a survey of the scene in civilian outfit I suspect we should have a more detailed discussion of the subject. What can you tell me? I'd hate to think I'll be coming back in Ocotber to find I don't have a home on the street anymore!

My address is glassharper@hotmail.com. [img]confused.gif[/img] [img]mad.gif[/img] <img src="graemlins/jester.gif" border="0" alt="[jester]" />
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Old 08-27-02, 07:11 AM   #5
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Ok everyone,
New Orleans is still there the only differance is some construction and they took out the benches in Jackson Sq(wich makes life easier). From what I have gathered the couple of people that got shutdown had it coming. I was there 2 weeks ago and it was fine. No problems but the heat and I mean Degrees not the man. Oh yeah I heard they banned performing after 8 on bourbon st. It used to be legal to work on the 100 block at night. but I guess you will have to check it out for yourself. But Dont worry Peter everything is ok.
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Old 09-04-02, 12:14 AM   #6
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Southern Decadence Fest (held here every Labor Day weekend) has just ended. Jampacked the French Quarter with overdressed (full black leather gear in 90 degree heat) or underdressed (thong only) bodies.
A good time had by all. Good hats for all.

But Jackson Square isn't the same without the benches. And it's SO CLEAN! Last night I counted 7 clean up guys each with a broom and rolling trash can plus 1 supervisor. Now audiences have no place to sit, and if they stand around they get swept away by the trash can guys.

A group called "Bring Back The Benches" has been formed. Includes buskers, visual artists and readers. A protest meeting is scheduled in front of the Cathedral next Sunday afternoon. Could be exciting.
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Old 09-04-02, 01:46 AM   #7
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I think the benches being gone are great. It really opens things up and you can preetymuch do a show where ever you want. The bring back the benches campain. They will probably just wait to put in new benches when they finish the construction.
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Old 11-12-02, 08:52 PM   #8
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The New York Times today had a piece on the crackdown against street musicians in New Orleans. One of the council members behind the effort said she's using Rudy Giuliani as her model.
Here's the link to the story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/12/national/12SING.html

According to the article, some performers welcome the tougher policy, but they didn't really talk with any.
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Old 11-29-02, 12:44 AM   #9
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So what's the latest? Are there still shows in N.O.? Is it worth it to drop by for a few weeks this winter?
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Old 12-01-02, 07:19 PM   #10
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It's real tough to get a spot these days Evan, those !*%$#@!?ing Artists an Tarot readers wake up at some ungodly hour, and things are a bit wierd, but, I'd say it's still one of the better American options for winter, and you know that you're welcome to share with me.
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Old 12-02-02, 11:11 AM   #11
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hey eric,

Seen Checkers lately??? I talked to him the other day. How's things??
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Old 01-25-03, 02:25 PM   #12
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Mardi Gras is almost here and it's just about time to start heading to New Orleans.

I usually arrived a week early and stay a week late, working in Jackson Square before and after and non-parade days.

Having read the posts in this column I would like to inquire about the current mood in Jackson Square, and if New Orleans has instituted a "Premit System" , as so many other cities have done.

If so I will have to arrive a few days earlier to get my papers in order.

Any information will be helpful.

Thanks,

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Old 01-25-03, 07:19 PM   #13
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The mood sucks, but mostly only for circle shows,ther is no 'Premit' (or permit even) it's just that the cops have been ticketing and arresting people for not having a license that does not exist. The attorney who helps us out on occasion, Mary Howell (see the book 'Passing the Hat', that lady was fighting the good fight the same year I was born!), scheduled a meeting with our police chief, and the ticketing and arresting mysteriously stopped the same day that she left him a message. The busking scene is probably going to stay political for a while, but you'll be fine, the tourists are still here.
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Old 01-26-03, 04:28 AM   #14
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Eric,

Thanks for the info. See you in New Orleans.

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Old 01-27-03, 06:02 PM   #15
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from: glassharper@hotmail.com

Well, the good news is the ticket the New Orleans police
gave me for "performing with out a license" was dismissed in
court.
The bad news is the ticket the New Orleans police gave me
for "performing with out a license" was dismissed in court.
I had (naively) thought a court trial would answer once and
for all the age-old question of whether or not a "street
performer's" license is required in New Orleans. It turns out
it's not quite that simple.
A week ago I was on Bourbon Street about to set up my glass
harmonica. A rather nasty policeman screeched his patrol car to a
stop and demanded to see my license. When I couldn't produce one
he gave me a ticket returnable in Municipal Court (interestingly
enough) on Martin Luther King Day. Needless to say the court
wasn't open. It was the next day that a nationally recognized
civil rights atorney (Mary Howell)got the ticket thrown out. "There is no such thing in N.O. as a street performer's license," she told me, "but we need a strategy conference before we let it go so far as a
court case." So now we're trying to organize a meeting of street
performers to discuss the situation and determine what to do
next.
As the office manager of the Cultural Preservation Society
of Key West once wrote me in a letter, "There is some degree of
difficulty in organizing a group of anarchists."
One thing is clear, however, there is a vendetta against
street performance here in New Orleans. Coming at the beginning
of a new administration (the last time such a crack-down happened
was when the LAST mayor took office), with a new City Council
member representing the French Quarter (who has long spoken out
against street performance) and just before Mardi Gras (beginning
of March this year) it shouldn't be surprising.
Stay tuned for further developments.


Best Regards,

PETER BENNETT
website: www.glassharper.com
email: glassharper@hotmail.com
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Old 02-16-03, 12:53 PM   #16
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I would like to know if I went to New Orleans if I would be arrested. I read all of the responses but come on. New Orleans seems like the place to be if you are a street performer and it is not allowed? So is there any kind of permit, and if one were to visit, where would the good locations be?
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Old 02-16-03, 09:19 PM   #17
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Hi Peter! Sorry to hear about your brush with the cops. Do you think they've had orders to clamp down before Mardi Gras? At least they didn't tell you to leave town like they do the panhandlers! By the way, how much was the ticket worth? Incidentally, there is a $75 licence issued to visual artists. I guess if you're selling something tangible, it's okay?
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Old 03-07-03, 10:17 AM   #18
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Howdy howdy!
I'm going to New Orleans around March 24, 2003 to do some henna/ mehndi busking. Does one need a license for body-art in NOLA? If so, where can I obtain this license? Also*** Anyone need a ride to New Orleans around that time? I will need help with the driving and the gas. Please email me at squidink45@hotmail.com -Thanks, Allison

[ 03-09-2003: Message edited by: Allison ]</p>
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Old 03-21-03, 11:15 AM   #19
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You can get arrested in NOLA if you work after 8pm on Bourbon Street. There is no street performing licence. Henna is considered street art, not busking, and you need an artist permit from the City Hall, which is 175$, and you have to wait for about a month or two to get it after you apply in person.
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Old 04-15-03, 01:15 AM   #20
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I'm on my way to NOLA to see Jazz Fest and prolly try to do some shows. Can performers still store their stuff at that magic shope? If not, is there anyplace in the french quarter to stash my trunk at night?
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