Today’s guest post by Jonny Walker – singer, songwriter and founder of the Association of Street Performers – comes in the face of recent moves against buskers by Camden council, which is considering draconian restrictions and fines. In advance of the council decision next week, Jonny outlines the ramifications of these proposals and the relationship of street music to city life.
John Wardle is one of Australia’s foremost advocates for live music. A musician and teacher, his research and campaigning work has led to involvement in music policy at both state and federal level. As a leader in the Raise the Bar campaign, he was instrumental in the removal of New South Wales’ Place of Public Entertainment Licenses in 2009, which has freed up the provision of live music there. He was also a source of advice for the UK Live Music Forum’s campaign for exemption for small gigs, which culminated in this year’s Live Music Act. His latest success comes with the introduction of the Small Venue License in South Australia, which does away with the ‘needs test’ and a separate process for an entertainment license. Here, he discusses this new development and explains what work there is still be done.
Now that The Games are almost afoot, naysaying is an increasingly unfashionable position. They’re here now – enjoy. Not the most consistent of arguments – it’s like saying, “I’ve been threatening to crash your house and hold a party for weeks, but now that it’s in full drunken flow, you’re as well grabbing a beer and getting into the swing of things”. I ponder here on a couple of the issues arising from later curfews for Olympic gigs in public parks than others that have taken place this year.
Jazz drummer and tireless music campaigner Hamish Birchall was a driving force behind the recent passage of the Live Music Act which frees up smaller venues to provide live music. In this post, he answers some questions about the campaign and the Act itself, for which many musicians and venues will have cause to be thankful.