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Councilors have a tip for operator of Faneuil Hall Marketplace: Leave the street performers alone

City councilors will haul in executives from Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. for another chat about the way they're running Faneuil Hall Marketplace - this time for their plans to start charging buskers up to $2,500 for performance space.

City Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) led the charge, saying he's upset the company is once again going after some of the little people who helped keep the marketplace going in bad times - last year, it was pushcart operators.

Jackson said he cannot believe the company would seek to levy fees on the performers who attract shoppers from around the world, in a city that claims it's so pro-arts.

"It's very, very sad that it's yet another situation where this new group that was designated through the BRA is taking advantage of the little guy or the little woman," Jackson said, adding he questions whether the company can even charge the performers under the First Amendment.

Ashkenazi controls what old-timers would refer to as Quincy Market, via a lease with the BRA. The city of Boston controls the performance space in front of the actual Faneuil Hall.

Some councilors, while applauding Jackson's proposal, said it's time to have a broader discussion about public performing in the city.

Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) said he wants to talk about who gets to use the performance spaces - down to the issue of the appropriateness and quality of certain performers. He added he's also getting a little tired of seeing city vehicles parked around Faneuil Hall.

Councilor Michelle Wu (at large) said that while the Walsh administration has focused on visual arts in public spaces, it's time to look at other arts, such as street performances.

Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), noted that street performers are the hallmark of great cities around the world and that the council should consider whether it needs regulations to ensure Boston's place in that list of places.

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Comments

Councilor Matt O'Malley (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury), noted that street performers are the hallmark of great cities around the world and that the council should consider whether it needs regulations to ensure Boston's place in that list of places.

Keep the regulations simple and cheap and you'll have good stuff happening. Place a cap on how much noise can be made (no bucket drummers) and say the sidewalks can not be fully blocked by the buskers or their audience. But otherwise no regulations are needed. And definitely no $2500 fees on city owned land.

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I don't think you should need a permit. And I think some places that are certain to annoy people or impede movement of the public should be off limits. Cops should be able to tell performers to "move on" if they are causing an issue.

OK, I guess I agree with you more than I disagree.

Play on!

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Wed 6 May 2015 Steno from Public Meeting of Boston City Council
http://www.reddit.com/r/openbostoncitycouncil/comments/35oeic/public_mee...

Also on Boston City Council Docket no excuse early voting for general elections
http://sampan.org/2015/05/councilor-ayanna-pressley-calls-for-no-excuse-...

Should Boston Election Commissioners also be staff of Election Department Office? Or should the Board of Election Commissioners be more separate?
http://bostondocuments.blogspot.com

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"performers who attract shoppers from around the world"

Yea, I'd rethink that. The last time I witnessed these 'performers', they were setting up a very elaborate "jump over a bunch of people" act. Where they promised to jump over people, collected money in a pushy way (calling me a 'cheap-ass' in the process after I refused because I knew what they were doing), then bent people over, put them closer together, and made the jump. Hardly world-class entertainment.

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That sounds like a Faneuil Hall performer, not an auditioned Quincy Market performer.

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Anon is right. The break dancers at the Boston-run park in front of the Sam Adams statue are not the auditioned Faneuil Hall street performers. The official performers have to sign agreements with Faneuil Hall Marketplace that adhere to their rules including no collecting money before their show is over. That space you're talking about is open to anybody and is not governed by the marketplace. Official performers busk inside of the actual marketplace itself.

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street performers are the hallmark of great cities around the world

I thought that hosting the Olympics was the only way to become a great city. Somebody needs to make up their minds.

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yet another situation where this new group that was designated through the BRA is taking advantage of the little guy or the little woman

"Designated through the BRA?!?". To quote the Mythbusters:

Well, there's your problem right there

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You're saying Commissioner Jackson is talking through his bra?

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Some of the performers on the City Hall side near the Sam Adams statue are too loud.

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The guy on be pogo stick called "whacky chad" is a conman

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Why's that?

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Anon? What "con" are you talking about? I've seen Wacky Chad. He actually does use a pogo stick and he really is doing those flips.

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