One city has twigged that good buskers boost tourism whilst bad ones with limited repertoires send poor shop workers potty. Hats off to Dublin, says Dougal Paver.
A while back my esteemed guest blogger, John Flamson, pondered on the challenges of ensuring buskers cut the mustard. I added a footnote about the quality I’d seen in Dublin and Galway recently, but it seems that such ability isn’t universal.
Dublin City Council has been forced to pass new by-laws banning buskers from using amplification and backing tracks, whilst insisting that their repertoire is a minimum of 30 minutes’ long. Shop workers and business owners across the city centre are said to have breathed a huge sigh of relief.
The standard’s still good, though. In Dublin last week with a client we were entranced by a group of young teenagers showing off their new Irish dancing steps. They were great and drew a hugely appreciative crowd. It was the innocence as much as the ability which struck us – couldn’t envisage that in Manchester or Liverpool, for sure. More’s the pity.