Santa Fe considers limits on Plaza performers

October 8, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — In response to compl[auth] aints from merchants, residents and tourists, Santa Fe officials are considering whether to place restrictions on musicians and other buskers who now are allowed to perform on the city’s historic Plaza.

But an initial version that would have allowed the performances only in designated areas outside the Plaza is being tossed in the trash bin.

“We’ll go back to the drawing board in terms of a different approach and process,” said City Councilor Chris Calvert told the Santa Fe New Mexican ( ).

Calvert said that one thing that needs to be examined is whether the people making complaints were distinguishing between street performers and panhandlers. “I think a lot of people lump those together . and that’s not fair.”

Santa Fe in recent years has allowed musicians to perform for tips in and around the Plaza park if they obtain a city permit.

The now-scrapped initial proposal would have prohibited performances after 9 p.m. and allowed them only in five designated areas outside the Plaza.

Buskers interviewed Monday said the decision to shelve the proposal was music to their ears.

“I thought it was a stupid idea to begin with,” said Pedro Romero, who has played the accordion and other instruments on the Plaza. “There are more serious problems to deal with.”

Another busker, George Robinson, said the existing ordinance needs “fine tuning” and that there have been complaints about amplification and people tripping on cords.

“Even the buskers have a problem in doing their shows on the Plaza because a lot of times people will step on each other in terms of just too many of us on the Plaza,” he said. “It becomes a cacophony.”

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