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Old 08-06-03, 01:12 PM   #1
Hunter
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I don't suppose anyone knows Cleveland's policies on street performers? I have never seen any myself, but I avoid the city on any time that it would be good to do street... I would have assumed they frown on it, but as I looked about,there are large areas near the science center and the rock & roll hall of fame that almost appear to be designed for street performers. Any info would be much appreciated.
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Old 08-20-03, 03:46 PM   #2
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I performed there last year with TCM for a Wiazard of Oz show. There was a busker there who got bullied by the cops (although, he was ****really**** unsafe with fire and a python). We were told that you have to have a permit from the city to perform on any public property, which requires insurance (of course) as well as approval of acts.

When Burn Unit tried to get one this year they were denied stating that there were too many "other" events going on that they felt Burn Unit would destract from. However, BU found a loophole. You can perform in front of a club, with the permission of that club. I know that two of the guys were going to try to see if they could push the system for change a bit, since the waterfront area was being built back up for clubs and such after a bit of a demise time.

Anyway...that is all I know about it though.
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Old 08-20-03, 07:33 PM   #3
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...no offense... i am FROM the cleveland area... and, in all my life in cleveland metro area i've never seen any buskers except at designated festivals. a few musicians here and there... who are lucky if they make beer money.

however - if you decide to do anything busker-ish in downtown... you do need a permit which can be applied for thru city hall (it's a typical beggars permit -- cost is like $60/yr... i think... i haven't lived there for about ten years...) and, i think there is a *no fire* clause in it.

better to do -- there are three major ren. faires within driving distance of the land o' cleve (glmf, ohio ren and holly, mi.) which have policies and procedures for tipped street performers...

also - check out the cleveland public theatre (across the bridge on detroit ave.) and bad epitaph theater co.... they often have open nights where they'll split the door with you if you fill their theater... or, they used to. even if they don't anymore -- david hansen is a great guy to know -- he always has the up n' up on wot's going on as far as auditions, calls, etc...

anyhoo -- that's my two cents.
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Old 08-20-03, 10:14 PM   #4
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Just to clarify...I wasn't busking. I was hired by Turner Classic Movies for their version of Wizard of Oz done Rocky Horror Picture style with a sing along and stuff. Maelstrom of The Ohio Burn Unit (a fire performance troupe there) and I were part of the "pre-show entertainment"

There was a guy there clad in dirty ripped clothes, greasy hair, unshaven or shorn trying to busk at this event. He attempted fire breathing...over children's head (nearly gave me a heart attack) and did some carousel fire eating. He had a huge and unhappy python as well that he manipulated into people's face. He was escorted away, not arrested, by the police.

We did fire dancing (Samoan Fire knives, Staff and Poi) as well as fire eating and breathing, and I bellydanced with my snake. There is a permit allowed for fire performers but I didn't get it, the promoter did, and we had to turn in a full safety write up and insurance to do so.
The event took place in the square across from the theater where Mama Mia plays/ed. The next day the tour took us to a township just outside of Akron.

I know that a couple of the Burn Unit Crew busked in Cleveland because they just got in trouble for something there, and the nightclub got them out of it on a liability waiver. The haven't been back since to my knowledge, and instead head out to Nelson's (a park about 30 min?? or so outside of Cleveland on the lake).
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Old 08-21-03, 10:18 AM   #5
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nelson's ledges... in cuyahoga falls...

it is where all the hippies hang out.

it is not an area which is approved for busking (meaning the solicitation of $$ from random people) and you will be arrested for doing so.

every year about a dozen or so stoopid people get the idea to have a mini-burning man out there and they eventually get run off by the cops.

i tell you - aside from busker fests (which they do have one) and paid events like pele's -- there is NO busking in cleveland ohio.
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Old 08-22-03, 07:57 AM   #6
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That would be it. The owner of Nelsons hires in entertainment occasionally. Ohio Burn Unit has performed there on contract. Sage and co. from Texas were brought in once, as was I (but got deluged out). They even have paramedics out there for the events. I know the organizer of the "BM-esque" party out there. They had to obtain permits and have insurance but didn't get chased out.

The owner pays well enough, and offers camping for performers. The crowd there goes one of two ways though...wankers who want to take your tools and show you up because they are drunk and/or stoned. Or they are so drunk/stoned that everything is just pretty. Not really the crowd I like so I am not distraught over missing my chance.

Some people don't mind it though, so I thought I would offer it as an alternative. Though I also need to say, this is not a busking opportunity. You do need permission, insurance and a permit to work there. [img]wink.gif[/img]
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Old 04-21-05, 10:55 AM   #7
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They currently have a program called Sparx in the City. I was in it last year but was denied this year because my caricatures were not theatrical and gay enough to merit the theater people who judged the auditions granting me a schedule again this year. I was snatched up with open arms however last year however when it was run by other people who were of the more hetero persuasion. Not bothered a bit by this, my money is not in the street, it's in the bars. It was nice to get a check though.

In the Sparx program they are actually paying buskers $25 per hour per person to perform at certain times of the day and you have to audition http://www.cleveland.com/sparx will give you all the info. Auditions are over for this year but you are welcome to busk at the venues that they have suggested in the schedules (as well as just about anywhere else in the city I assume as long as it is not private property) The city is friendly towards busking and actually sponsors this program to boost the amount of pedestrian traffic downtown. There are a lot of panhandlers and people are unfriendly at times. This is the biggest problem with every pitch here. Potential marks are very likely to hurry by without looking at what you are doing no matter how friendly you seem. Clevelanders have issues too I must say...

Pittsburgh has a good busking program as well. I used to live there. It is run by a friend of mine named Sean of TheDaringDouglasses@hotmail.com who is very knowledgeable and friendly. I think he posts here frequently though I have not seen any of his posts yet. (I'm the FNG here)

Clevelandwise, I would not suggest trying anything at large public venues like concerts and certainly not the Nelson's Ledges site. It is a rural setting and mostly young kids. I would set up in front of the Jake, East 6th street area is great!, the Rock hall, flats (west bank only-ask permission-lots of private property), public Square or the theater district area. You are not likely to find a lot of friendly foot traffic in the day but evenings will kick ass if you are in a good spot. Stay away from bus stops! Cleveland is a very poor city. The people who ride the bus HAVE TO.

Tremont would be a good location too. There is an artsy area there where there are lots of galleries. It's on the fringe too but probably much friendlier than downtown. Lots of Rich young professionals and I have gotten a gig or two every time I have busked there. Good luck!
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Old 03-01-12, 08:45 AM   #8
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I have done Cleveland a few times. Once during the Tall ships festival. I was behind rock hall and the science center and I did very well. I saw a cop ride a bike by several times. I asked him about street performing and he told me I was fine as long as I didn't shake a can in front of peoples faces and demand money I would be fine. I continued to go on and did very well. If you are to close to the science center or Rock hall they will ask you to move. As they are allowed to utilize that space back there. I did ask the police officer about street performing permits he told me there were none.

I have also worked down town on St. Patty's day and have done well, but did get harassed by a different police officer who went as far as to walk up during my show and knock my table on to the ground.
If musicians have the right to be out there so do we.
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