York & North Yorkshire

York city centre buskers have songs 'hijacked' by groups

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Image caption Some street musicians in York are having their performances taken over by large groups

City centre buskers are having their performances "hijacked" by large groups and becoming a magnet for anti-social behaviour, a council meeting heard.

City of York Council was told that some acts playing in the city were "extremely monotonous".

Jane Mowat, of the Community Safety Team, said acts were part of a "vibrant city" but there were problems.

Councillor Chris Cullwick said Coney Street could be "pretty awful" and called for a 20:00 curfew.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said Ms Mowat told the city council: "We have got these challenges with certain buskers making a lot of noise that's affecting the business community.

"[Last summer] we saw a significant increase in the number of buskers and quite often they were being hijacked by groups and that creates a big crowd."

'Extremely monotonous'

Some musicians refused to busk in the city any more because their acts were being taken over by groups of passers-by who grabbed their microphones, she added.

Mr Cullwick said: "The busking that concerns me most is that in the late or early hours, particularly in Coney Street, some of which is extremely monotonous and can become a focus for anti-social behaviour and certainly doesn't encourage residential development."

A council report says: "All partners recognise that busking and street entertainment plays a valuable role in contributing to the vibrancy of the city centre, but that consideration must also be given to ensure that it does not have a negative impact on businesses and visitors."

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