Buskers’ delight as Tour de France ‘ban’ is lifted
Buskers are claiming victory in their battle with council bosses over the right to perform in the streets of York during the Tour de France Weekend.
The musicians and street entertainers were furious after being told they would not be welcome on their normal city centre pitches on July 5-6 for health and safety reasons.
Bureucrats were worried that if a busker pulled a crowd it could interfere with the flow of thousands of visitors and create a hazard.
But the buskers hit back that if the council wanted to create a festival atmosphere banning buskers was a strange way to do it.
Debbie Bell, of the City Centre Management Team, originally wrote to buskers warning "busking in the city centre will be prohibited unless you are otherwise contacted and authorised to perform."
But following the row, she has written to buskers again, saying there may be slots available after all.
She wrote: "I am writing to advise you that busking in the city centre will form part of a wider event and if you plan to busk in York that weekend we advise that you contact the city centre office to inform them of your plans.
"You will then be given more information about the weekend and available space to perform."
Busker Jonny Walker, Founding Director of Keep Streets Live Campaign, said the mix-up underlined the need for clearer guidelines.
He said: 'I welcome York's decision to backtrack on their Tour De France busker ban.
"It is an obvious recognition of the year round contribution that street performers bring to the cultural life of the city the - without needing to be 'authorised', paid or otherwise invited in advance.
"A petition was signed by over 4000 people calling on York Council to develop a fair code of conduct for busking in the city that works for all sides.
"It is to be hoped that they respond as a matter of urgency in the light of this most recent misunderstanding."
York Council, which has denied there was a ban, said no one was available to comment immediately.
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