CBD on song

BUSKING in Perth’s CBD is now free, but it’ll remain restricted to decent acts (“Perth looking to axe busking fee,” Voice, February 22, 2020).

Perth council ran a trial last year of more rigid busking rules to reduce the number of complaints about crap singers and loud amps. 

Along with setting out demarcated areas, set times and requiring an audition video, the council also dropped the annual fee. About 80 per cent of applicants were good enough to get a permit. The number of buskers applying went up 800 per cent, and complaints halved. 

• Yuzuke Hasegawa busked around Australia in 2010. He couldn’t lug a drumkit around so he played on anything nearby. He’d have an easier time now there’s no fee in Perth.

But during the trial buskers still wanted lower fees. At the February 25 Perth council meeting commissioners endorsed a new zero dollar application fee from buskers, though the audition remains. 

Former councillor Reece Harley had proposed the cheaper permit trial back in 2018, saying buskers had been coming to him complaining about the steep cost compared to other cities.

He said it was good news to see it lowered to zero this week; “I’m overjoyed for our city and for all of the wonderful buskers who I know will be so thankful for this support,” he said.


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