Edinburgh’s buskers may be forced to keep the noise down

Council will ask the Scottish Government for powers to deal with loud music on the streets.

Edinburgh’s buskers may be forced to keep the noise down iStock

Buskers may be forced to keep the noise down in Edinburgh as the council seeks ways to crack down on loud entertainers.

Measures to turn the volume down on amplified busking and street entertainment will be looked at by Edinburgh City Council.

The council is to write to the Scottish Government to ask for powers to deal with the problem.

Liberal Democrat councillor Neil Ross first raised the issue at a full council meeting in August 2019 – but despite agreement to look at what could be done, no report came back to council.

Cllr Ross says that the problem has not gone away, and amplified sound blaring from entertainers – and in some cases, shops – is still causing problems for residents and businesses.

He said: “Uncontrolled, amplified sound is an unwanted invasion of residential amenity – it is unacceptable, unreasonable and unnecessary.”

Cllr Ross told members that a sound limit for open-air events was already a standard condition of the council’s public entertainment licence, but did not cover occasional busking.

He also suggested that the council’s Street Enforcement team should actively engage with buskers and street entertainers to encourage them to stick to the council’s advice.

He said: “I understand they can be called on to deal with audible nuisance from amplified music during the festival fringe.

“Let’s extend this duty to cover amplified busking and street entertaining throughout the city and throughout the year.”

Officers were also asked to look at ways to make it easier for  residents and businesses to report any disturbances.

The Liberal Democrat motion was agreed by all councillors.

Story by local democracy reporter Kirsty Paterson

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