Author Topic: Are street drummers rude?  (Read 3561 times)

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AuntyEm

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Are street drummers rude?
« on: December 08, 2013, 10:27:56 AM »
Yesterday:
At the outdoor German Christmas Market with holiday music, lots of people milling around eating and shopping for decorations held at a plaza in the middle of downtown.  A guy sets up his drum set just outside the sawhorse boundary and gives a nonstop drum concert hoping for "donations".

Outside Macy's a few blocks away.  Lots of people gathered to look at the decorated windows, again holiday music provided by the city. Two teenage boys banging away furiously at overturned plastic buckets again with a tip jar in front of them.

This behavior was ruining my experience.  Am thinking of contacting the city to see if this violates some kind of noise ordinance.  Am I being a SS for resenting this?

*inviteseller

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 10:48:02 AM »
While I am sure it is annoying, as long as the merchants or police were not shutting it down, it must have been allowed.  We have an older guy who sets up his Mr Microphone type thing in front of our Macy's and sings, but not along to the Christmas music playing for the window displays.  It is jarring but Macy's hasn't told him or any other street performers to leave in all the years so I guess they don't care.

Luci

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2013, 10:53:20 AM »
Agreed. The only place I have ever seen them as anywhere near appropriate is in a large park not obstructing traffic flow and no competing music around. Of course, there is not a lot of audience usually except for the ones I saw in San Francisco, but on the other hand, I donated there, where I never do in the circumstances you describe.

Street performers have been around for millennia (ancient Rome, for example), so I don't think you'll win this battle. There is also the argument that at least they are trying to earn money, but they have been around during all the economic good times, too.

hyzenthlay

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2013, 12:08:44 PM »
This behavior was ruining my experience. 

I tend to find the Christmas music (usually over poor speaker systems) to be aggravating. I think I'd find decent drumming to be a pleasant relief.

So no, I don't think you'll have much luck pursuing a complaint. Noise is noise, some of it is enjoyable, some of it is not, public music is really no different.

something.new.every.day

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2013, 12:12:27 PM »
I actually like street performers in my city--singers, bongo players, etc. If I have cash or change on hand I always throw some in.  I don't think complaining will get you anywhere. 

mbbored

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2013, 12:25:38 PM »
Annoying to some people? Yes. Rude? No.

Now if they were playing on your front lawn or in a residential neighborhood at 2 am, then, yes, it would be rude.

PeterM

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2013, 12:33:10 PM »
I agree that it can be annoying, but I also agree that there's probably nothing the police or the stores can or will do. The drummers can be especially annoying, in my experience, because they're so loud and the noise seems to project better and further. Even if they're talented I don't necessarily want to hear it. And if they're not particularly good, oy.

At least they're outdoors. For me, the absolute worst was when I'd get downstairs to wait for the subway and find I'd become the captive audience for a busker. It generally wasn't music I had any interest in listening to, and of course I couldn't just walk away. Honestly, even when it was good music that I was in the mood for - rarely, but it happened - it still annoyed the snot out of me, on general principles. Except for the guy who always did Sam Cooke. He was great. Possibly because I only saw him very infrequently.

Wait, actually, the absolute worst was the buskers in the subway who would talk between songs instead of just play the stinking music. Whether it was bad stand up or their take on the news and politics of the day (or the weather!) I'm getting stabby just thinking about it.

DollyPond

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2013, 12:55:12 PM »
While I am sure it is annoying, as long as the merchants or police were not shutting it down, it must have been allowed.  We have an older guy who sets up his Mr Microphone type thing <snipped>

One year there was a Salvation Army collector outside a store who had his Mr. Microphone and was singing Blue Christmas a la Elvis. He was really good.  I said "OK you win the talent contest" and made a big donation.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2013, 01:19:12 PM »
I agree that it can be annoying, but I also agree that there's probably nothing the police or the stores can or will do. The drummers can be especially annoying, in my experience, because they're so loud and the noise seems to project better and further. Even if they're talented I don't necessarily want to hear it. And if they're not particularly good, oy.

At least they're outdoors. For me, the absolute worst was when I'd get downstairs to wait for the subway and find I'd become the captive audience for a busker. It generally wasn't music I had any interest in listening to, and of course I couldn't just walk away. Honestly, even when it was good music that I was in the mood for - rarely, but it happened - it still annoyed the snot out of me, on general principles.

[brief snip]

Wait, actually, the absolute worst was the buskers in the subway who would talk between songs instead of just play the stinking music. Whether it was bad stand up or their take on the news and politics of the day (or the weather!) I'm getting stabby just thinking about it.

I feel with you, and for you.  I don't much like music, and feel resentful toward music-makers who do their stuff in the public domain, and then want to receive money for so doing. (In a captive-audience situation, as you describe, "that to the power of ten".)

I give money to such folk, very rarely indeed;  have indeed quite often felt tempted to say to the perpetrator, "I'll give you 5 if you'll just shut up immediately, and stay silent till I'm out of earshot".

My very particular hate in this area: it seems that the less-talented buskers here in the UK, tend to rely heavily on -- and perform endlessly -- the two songs "The Streets of London", and "Where do you go to, my Lovely?".  Any busker that I hear, doing either song -- I'd very gladly send them off to a re-education camp, to be (robustly) taught a bigger repertoire.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2013, 03:15:29 PM »
I enjoy some buskers, not others, but the only ones I would call rude are the people with a captive audience, like inside a subway car or on a platform too crowded to move away. (Depending on the busker, I will sometimes deliberately move toward them on a not-very-crowded platform.)

I couldn't get annoyed at anyone drumming outside Macy's this time of year, since it's impossible to go into or even past the store without dealing with people collecting, usually loudly, for a religious/political organization I actively disagree with.
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Library Dragon

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2013, 05:15:17 PM »
I enjoy some buskers, not others, but the only ones I would call rude are the people with a captive audience, like inside a subway car or on a platform too crowded to move away. (Depending on the busker, I will sometimes deliberately move toward them on a not-very-crowded platform.)

I couldn't get annoyed at anyone drumming outside Macy's this time of year, since it's impossible to go into or even past the store without dealing with people collecting, usually loudly, for a religious/political organization I actively disagree with.

POD. If I cannot get away I don't like it it al all.  It feels like a shake down.

My view is colored a bit because decades ago when stationed in Germany a friend and I would pantomime parables. We always made sure we were tucked away at the opening of an alley or other area that wouldn't interrupt walkers.  We always made enough in a couple hours for a nice lunch.  Plus it fed our hammy sides.

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Joeschmo

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2013, 05:15:41 PM »
I enjoy some buskers, not others, but the only ones I would call rude are the people with a captive audience, like inside a subway car or on a platform too crowded to move away. (Depending on the busker, I will sometimes deliberately move toward them on a not-very-crowded platform.)

I couldn't get annoyed at anyone drumming outside Macy's this time of year, since it's impossible to go into or even past the store without dealing with people collecting, usually loudly, for a religious/political organization I actively disagree with.

I tend to enjoy street musicians when I notice them.  Typically the situations I am in where there are street musicians that aren't so great at music will involve so many other fun activities, sites, or sounds that the bad music becomes background noise.  There's so much joy around on the holidays it's easy to shift focus away from bad music.

baglady

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2013, 06:03:08 PM »
I think street musicians are only rude if they interfere with other *live* performances. My dance group performs at several street fair/festival things this time of year. In past years at one event in particular, our musicians have found themselves competing with a nearby marching band, small but loud electric band, and "bucket drummer" ensemble. Very difficult for them and for those of us attempting to dance to their music.

Fortunately, we were spared that this year. Maybe the event organizers figured out that it's not a good idea to locate/schedule performing groups so close together.

Personally I'd rather listen to a street musician -- even a bad one -- than deal with those fundraisers who station themselves in the middle of the street and hit up drivers. Obnoxious, intrusive and a traffic hazard.
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Aquamarine

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2013, 06:21:08 PM »
If it's not illegal then technically it's not rude, however I do think street performance can be horribly thoughtless when it "takes over" and intrudes upon the ambience of a given area.  If I am sitting outside enjoying the park, a good conversation or a meal I do find it irritating to have my activities drowned out by someone who wants to perform publicly to make a buck.  Someone who does this will never, ever get money from me.  I fail to see where their desire to make a buck trumps the desires of the people who were already enjoying a space before the performer(s) arrived.

If people are window-shopping a special display and enjoying just being out and about at the holidays I think it very ill bred to do something such as interrupting all that with banging on drums to score a few bucks, it just strikes me as very unseemly.   I really would like to see street performers restricted to certain areas/times.  By restricting their area I get to choose to go go see them or not, not just have my time and activities curtailed/ interrupted for their private agenda.

When I go somewhere to enjoy a certain activity or ambience and those things are interrupted by a performer I feel like a bait and switch has been pulled off.  It just reminds me of the old saying "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean that you should".

As another poster mentioned, I would like to see the charity hustlers confined also to certain areas/times as well, so I have a personal say as to whether I interact with them or not.  I am sick and tired of those who think it is OK to hassle and hustle others in public for their own gain.  I have perfected my glare of death and am rarely approached in public anymore.  For those who say "it's not rude to ask", IMHO it can be very rude to ask at times.
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petal

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Re: Are street drummers rude?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2013, 08:53:25 PM »
I agree that it can be annoying, but I also agree that there's probably nothing the police or the stores can or will do. The drummers can be especially annoying, in my experience, because they're so loud and the noise seems to project better and further. Even if they're talented I don't necessarily want to hear it. And if they're not particularly good, oy.

At least they're outdoors. For me, the absolute worst was when I'd get downstairs to wait for the subway and find I'd become the captive audience for a busker. It generally wasn't music I had any interest in listening to, and of course I couldn't just walk away. Honestly, even when it was good music that I was in the mood for - rarely, but it happened - it still annoyed the snot out of me, on general principles.

[brief snip]

Wait, actually, the absolute worst was the buskers in the subway who would talk between songs instead of just play the stinking music. Whether it was bad stand up or their take on the news and politics of the day (or the weather!) I'm getting stabby just thinking about it.

I feel with you, and for you.  I don't much like music, and feel resentful toward music-makers who do their stuff in the public domain, and then want to receive money for so doing. (In a captive-audience situation, as you describe, "that to the power of ten".)

I give money to such folk, very rarely indeed;  have indeed quite often felt tempted to say to the perpetrator, "I'll give you 5 if you'll just shut up immediately, and stay silent till I'm out of earshot".

My very particular hate in this area: it seems that the less-talented buskers here in the UK, tend to rely heavily on -- and perform endlessly -- the two songs "The Streets of London", and "Where do you go to, my Lovely?".  Any busker that I hear, doing either song -- I'd very gladly send them off to a re-education camp, to be (robustly) taught a bigger repertoire.


No one is a captive audience.  everyone has legs to walk away with. no one has demanded anyone stay and listen.


Im neither a lover or a hater of street performers/buskers. some are so awful i think my tone deaf singing would be much nicer  and other are so delightful i could sit and listen to for another hour.

Visiting Perth some time last year with my daughter i came across a violinist who was so utterly amazing i sat there with others for his whole performance.

in 2009 i came across some singers (different occassions) in the London tube stations.  All underground and you could hear them as you were coming down the escalators.  I liked most of them. I didnt have to stop if i didnt want to.