Losing Ground As Street Players


We wanted to talk about street players.  A search for the words “street players” on google netted 426,000,000 results. There’s main street players, eden street players, chapel street players, street players.net, south street players, union street players and the list goes on and on.  We didn’t want to mention a band in particular, but wanted to talk about musician actually playing on the street.

In New York City, street players or musicians, were able to perform freely in Manhattan’s open spaces. But, now a new law limits the area of their performance to 100 defined spots. Medaillons will be embedded under each spot allowing street musicians to play in this area. Violators could receive a summons and a $250 fine…

Now classified as vendors, which means according to the law “sellers or solicitors of donations in exchange for tangible items, such as paintings, books, or photographs,” musicians will have to follow the laws that apply to all vendors.  Gone are the days when you could just set up your lunchbox amp and guitar and jam freely.  Along with all other “businesses,” the government has found yet another way to benefit financially from people who just want to play for people and share their gifts and skills in exchange for a dollar or some change in the hat.

Other cities have followed suit and more will join.