Clamping Down



First they wanted their drums, swords and flames.

Now they want their amps.

RTE reports:

A total ban on the use of amplifiers by buskers has been recommended by Dublin City Council management as part of a revision of by-laws.

A report to councillors says the decibel limits introduced in by-laws over a year ago have only been partially effective and “extremely difficult to enforce”.

Assistant Chief Executive Brendan Kenny states in the report that complaints are increasing and 83% of the 238 public submissions received on revisions to the by-laws complained about noise levels.

Council management are now proposing to ban amplifiers and the use of the backing tracks for all buskers in the city.

DCC recommends total ban of buskers using amplifiers (RTE)

Previously: A Big Ask

No Drums, No Swords, No Flames


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43 thoughts on “Clamping Down

  1. munkifisht

    Awful move. There should be a ban on the level of the amps, not the amps themselves.

    1. DubLoony

      They did put a level on the amps but the buskers blared out anyway.
      but the trumpet players are loud anyway, not sure what they are going to do about them.

  2. Starina

    killjoys. we’re known for our musicians and artists. what should we try to dismantle? oh yeah, the arts.

    1. Shelbyville Manhattan

      By the arts we mean a speaker playing a pooey trumpet version of “Time To Say Goodbye” at earsplitting volume whilst miming badly? Surely worthy of a Cnuas in perpetuity.

    2. Daisy Chainsaw

      Because they’re a noisy pain in the hoop. I was in Dublin city centre for the first time in ages over the weekend and the racket from amped up buskers was among one of the reasons I’ll stick to the suburban shopping centres in future.

    3. Medium Sized C

      I took a stroll through templebar yesterday. Fupp amps. Two amped up dudes playing the same chords singing One (U2) is not the kind arts we need to save. The guy playing uillean pipes with no amp in the arch was great though . Also you are just blindly conflating DCC with the Dail.

    4. Clampers Outside!

      We had no portable amps 10 years ago, and buskers did fine. And pedestrians enjoyed or didn’t all the same.

      Heard that dude from Keywest on Morning Ireland…. came across like a total ‘me, me, me’ fool. After hearing how amps were causing problems of hearing conversations in offices on Grafton St, his defense was, ‘but it’s only one office, one dentist, one whatever…’ as if that business paying exorbitant rates should be put out by some twit with an amp who is already allowed to play all he wants, amp-less.
      His argument was he cannot do it without the amp, because his voice would be ruined.

      So, don’t do it then, I thought.
      Fupp the amps! It’s not like busing is being banned, just amps…. hell, maybe it’ll produce better singers…. I’ll miss The Riptide Movement, but I can live with that. My tuppence.

      1. Lorcan Nagle

        Keywest are so loud when they play in Temple Bar that they drown out whatever I’m listening to on my phone – and I keep my music loud to try and drown out buskers and chuggers in the first place.

        1. Christopher

          Yep they are the worst- and the crowds that gather around the square make it impossible to get from Dame Street to the happenybridge as they bung up the main thoroughfare. I can’t hear my own music in my headphones when they play- they are complete noise pollution.

          1. Lorcan Nagle

            At least the crowd rarely closes off the street at the Bad Ass, so I usually just walk straight through the gap around the band and straight onto Merchant’s Arch.

            I find the way the crowds gather on Grafton Street to be much more annoying. Last Christmas I had to fight my way through a tiny space beside the AIB at the north end of the street on account of the massive amount of room people had left around the band who were playing there. Like a good 75% of the width of the street was empty, with a thick enough circle of people around that which you couldn’t push your way thrugh.

  3. jungleman

    They should ban that bunch of fools dancing at each end every day. They are by far the biggest eyesore and disruption to enjoyment of grafton street.

    1. DubLoony

      Boo! Hisss! spoilsport. they are what make Grafton Street a place to stroll down and stop to listen for a few minutes.

    1. Harry Molloy

      they’re exactly who I thought of though, to be fair, I haven’t seen amps being an issue any other time.

      1. Vote Rep #1

        I strolled through town over lunch and saw 3 different lads belting out songs using amps around the grafton st area. There is usually a few over on Henry St as well. There wasn’t usually many people with amps before? No need for it at all.

  4. Liam Deliverance

    Proper order, couldn’t hear myself think walking up Henry St recently, 100m past the busker and can still hear him loud and clear. That’s not busking, that’s just being an inconsiderate pain in the hole.

    1. Yep

      Ah sure you’re only thinking how much you hate yourself. I’m sure you need the break.

  5. LiamZero

    Thank jaysus. Amps are completely unnecessary for 99% of buskers, and make streets as unpleasant to walk down as aggressive chuggers do. If you’re a talented musician, being able to do it acoustically is part of the point of busking: it’s like stage acting, where conveying your voice and emotions to a theatre full of people is what actors should learn to do. Using an amp is lazy and inconsiderate.
    If people want to stop and listen to a busker, that’s their right, but it’s not the right of the busker to literally be heard from one end of a street to another. As someone said above, that’s just noise pollution.

    1. Medium Sized C

      Yeah. They shout their holes off instead of singing. Paddy Casey got a record deal out of it.

    2. Jess

      some do, some don’t. Back in the mid 90s there were a few people who used amps and played some really excellent blues. I remember in particular two young lads in their early and mid teens and the piano guitar guy. Neither used it for volume, they used it because you needed it for distortion. There was also a couple of metal guitarists who were awesome.

      It saddens me that really talented and interesting musicians won’t be seen anymore because (more than) a few gimps playing hallelujah or entire bands are trying for their big break of one day getting a sunday residency in a pub in drumcondra by treating it like an open air stadium gig

  6. Buskin' Henry Woods

    Evening all. I myself used to busk, I was only raising money for guitar lessons mind.
    Speaking of buskers, does anyone remember a gent who used to busk Gratfon street some 20 years ago?
    A long haired man who would have been in his 50s. I think he was local.
    He would play a guitar which had piano keys over the soundhole and was miked up to a little amp.
    The piano keys would give this wonderful plucking sound and he used to gather quite an audience.
    He sold cassettes and little postcards with guitar drawings on them.
    Just wondering, I do think about the guitar he had. I have been trying to recreate it.

    1. Jess

      He was awesome, and a complete gent who would strike up conversation with anyone he saw with a guitar.

      I never caught his name though.

  7. Mulder

    Whats with all this singing and playing music, no dancing.
    The Mick Flately school of dance.
    On every street corner, would be quite a sight to see.

  8. Medium Sized C

    You’d probably lose that Chinese lad who plays flute on liffey Street the odd time. He is a 24carat motherfupper. And those bazouki dudes who were on O’Connell Street. Which would be a shame.

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