New rules will ban loud instruments, amplification and animal acts
New rules governing street performers were approved by the City Council will take effect as of March.
The rules will prohibit the use of powered amplification, bagpipes, drums and saxophones without mufflers. Animal acts will also be prohibited.
The rules will also require performers to be on opposite sides of the Vltava river on alternating hours: odd hours on the left bank, and even hours on the right bank.
Council members representing Prague 1 were most in favor of the changes, especially those regarding noise.
Some, however say they go too far. “The main problem with the decree is that it combines reasonable restrictions that each is beneficial, but together they result in disposing of street art," City Councilor Petra Kolinska (Greens / Three-party Coalition) told daily Mladá fronta Dnes.
City Councilor Lukáš Manhart (TOP 09) said he envisioned conflicts between police trying to enforce the law and street artists, or buskers.
The Pirate Party tried to weaken some of the proposals, such as restricting only the most problematic instruments, but they were unsuccessful.
Several professional musicians spoke out over social media against the changes. musician Vladimir Mišík said the street artists made Prague better than it was under communism, when everything was dull and gray, and they were also better than the shops selling junk to tourists.
Performances can only take place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and are prohibited in front of schools except on weekends and holidays.
More places where street performances are restricted are also being added to the existing list.
The changes do not affect mimes, living statues and similar “quiet performances.”