Waynesville leaders as expected lifted a de facto ban on street performers last week, opening the door for musicians to play on the sidewalks of town as long as they get a permit first.
“We have already received our first application this morning,” Town Manager Marcy Onieal said the day after the new ordinance was passed.
The town has been considering the change for weeks. Previously, buskers soliciting money from passersby were considered panhandlers and not allowed. Now, there is an exemption for performers who get a permit.
Performers must provide a detailed description of their act, what instruments or props the act includes and two 2-by-2 color headshots. They must also undergo a background check by the Waynesville Police Department and pay a $25 yearly fee. And when performing around town, they must wear a special town-issued photo badge. No busking is allowed prior to 11 a.m. or after 9 p.m. everyday. Also, buskers may not perform within 50 feet of any school, library, hospital, church, funeral home, courthouse or cemetery, or within 100 feet of a town-approved special event. They may not impede the flow of vehicle or foot traffic, and if playing on private property, buskers must obtain written permission from the owner.
— By Caitlin Bowling