Tunes like the Londonderry Air or Simon&Garfunkel numbers may be inoffensive enough at first hearing. Even enjoyable in a sufficiently fine rendition. But when they’re muzaked to buggery and repeated hour after hour it becomes torture.
The amplified buskers appeared in town yesterday, inflicting exactly that on a wide area. As a consequence the day was a write-off, and I’m attempting to catch up on my work today instead. Worse, unlike a predictable nuisance like the yobs club it’s not something I can plan for ahead of time (for yesterday evening I had a ticket to see our local musical society’s production of Oliver, timed for Friday evening precisely because that’s always a good time to be out of the house).
About lunchtime I finally snapped and called Environmental Health. They told me they’d had a word with this busker last time he was in town, but weren’t going to take any more action. Also said that they’d had trouble talking to the offensive busker, because he didn’t seem to speak English!
For my part, I’m happy to see an honest busker down in town, but when they use electronic amplification to inflict themselves on a wide area it crosses beyond the boundary of acceptability. Would it be too much to have and enforce a no-amplification rule? It would have the side-effect of helping select for those buskers with at least sufficient talent to work without electronic aids: not a high bar, but much better than nothing!
Is there anything I as an individual can do when TPTB say too much work?