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Bye-Bye Bucket Boys?

The Chicago City Council approved an ordinance that aims to turn down the volume on loud street performers.

Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd) sponsored the measure, after receiving thousands of noise complaints from people who live and work along the Magnificent Mile.

Street performers typically pay $75 to get a license from the City of Chicago. Under the new rules, that license can be revoked if they pick up 2 excessive noise violations in one year. If the performer is extremely loud, they can lose their license on the first violation.

Critics of the plan say it unfairly targets the poor and will be difficult to enforce.

We want to know what you think. Are Chicago's street performers disruptive? Post a message here.

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Comments (10)

Anonymous:

Chicago STINKS!! Instead of banning the bucket boys and other street musicians, MAyor daley needs tell me where the money is from the sale of the parking meters and the skyway. I'll say were it is; ON THE 2016 mess. Some one needs to focus on why mayor Daley is cutting jobs while still planning for the olympics.

nanana:

wow this city is a joke they are trying to make a living and they are not harming anyone or anything. if you want to talk about loud noises what about the motorcycles and loud cars? what about the airport that they keep expanding? the people that should get fined are the ones that walking up and done the street pestering you to donate money so they can buy uniforms for their basketball team. i think the city should be focusing on the crime rate what about all the cps shootings this year? FOCUS ON THE PEOPLE THAT ARE CAUSING THE CRIME AND THE PROBLEMS IN THE CITY NOT THE ONES THAT ARE TRYING TO MAKE A HONEST LIVING.

Of all the things the Chicago City Council finds to occupy its time, I’ve never found anything as pathetic as this ordinance being imposed on so-called “noise makers.”

First of all, I have to question the productivity of many city officials. I’m sure that some city workers who have found themselves subject to recent furloughs could testify to the incompetence of those who issued them furloughs. I’m also certain that there are many recently unemployed individuals out there that are certainly just as qualified or more qualified than those who determine ordinances as petty as the one concerning the “bucket boys.” If you are looking for proof of my claim regarding incompetence, you need look no further than the recent parking meter fiasco.

Secondly, let me say that I have something called absolute pitch, which means that if I hear something musical and it does not conform to standard musical tuning (i.e. A = 440 Hz), I tend to get very irritated. Whenever I ride the Metra commuter trains, I notice that the two tones preceding the “caution, the doors are about to close” warning are almost never on pitch: the two tones are supposed to be a C and an F respectively, but they are either 50 cents sharp, or 50 cents flat, or even a whole semitone sharp or flat (and depending on which car you ride in, it varies). I also notice that many of the saxophone players on the street play relatively “in tune” but not to standard tuning (God bless them). As much as I would like to throttle somebody or have an ordinance passed in regards to these matters, I don’t (besides, I believe that city and train officials would either laugh at me or question my sanity). I simply live with it--- something I feel qualifies me to advise certain aldermen and other petty whiners to do the same: if I can live with annoyances, so can you. It’s really not that hard. If you can tune out the fact that there are people here being murdered everyday, then you can tune out the “bucket boys”--- I have faith in you.

An ironic thing is that the petty whiners who are complaining about the “bucket boys” are probably the same pathetic idiots who rudely distract others by incessantly yapping on their cell phones (or allowing their phones to ring or vibrate uncontrollably)--- a distraction to and legitimate grievance of others. They are probably the same idiots who endanger themselves and others when trying to operate their phones while driving. They are probably the same people who have their radios or iPods going while they are working, and are only complaining about the “bucket boys” because they are “drowning out” their atmosphere.

Another ironic thing is that city officials who happen to be proponents of this ordinance, particularly alderman Brendan Reilly, are the same ones who hear the cries of the petty whiners yet ignore the deafening cries of those who are murdered everyday. Part of the reason that the “bucket boys” take it to the street is because of these socioeconomic conditions; they’ve found a creative outlet in response to the actions or inactions of those concerned only with business.

The business class doesn’t believe in sharing streets for the sake of community. The ordinance imposed on the “bucket boys” is not a matter of racism (actually, the business class could care less). This is simply a matter of business and how it is affected… simply pathetic.

There’s a world outside your artificial atmosphere. Open your eyes and ears. For crying out loud…

Anonymous:

I am glad the bucket boys are being limited. I believe they and any other noise makers should be banned from the downtown area all together. This isn't a matter of rich v poor, black v white or any other verses, it's a matter of being alble to work and live without interferance from more noise than is already produced just by traffic and other necessary activities downtown. It is absolutely nerve wraking to hear the beating of those buckets hour after hour, and the sax player that knows one song and plays it over and over. I have actually had clients asked to moved to other areas of the office where the noise from the "street musicians" is not so annoying. If Chicago wants to keep businesses and people downtown Chicago governments needs to go a long way in making it a lot less annoying. Isn't being asked for change every block enough? Do we really need all the noise?

Ms.Brown 29Th and state:

ITS QUITE FUNNY TO ME HOW THE CITY CAN TAKE THE TIME OUT TO RECOGNIZE HOW NOISY SOMETHING IS WHEN THERE ARE PEOPLE GETTING KILLED EVERYDAY IN CHICAGO! ITS SAD BECAUSE ATLEAST THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING POSITIVE, THEY COULD BE KNOCKING PEOPLE OVER THEIR HEADS OR ROBBING PEOPLE, AND MAYBE EVEN SHOOTING PEOPLE, YET THE CITY IS GIVING THEM REASONS TO DO THINGS LIKE THAT BY TAKING THE ONLY GOOD THINGS THEY HAVE GOING FOR THEMSELVES AWAY, SO WHEN MORE PEOPLE COME UP DEAD, ROBBED, AND HURT, THANK OUR WONDERFUL CITY AND THE RACIST PEOPLE WHO DONT GIVE A CARE, AND ARE HONESTLY RISKING THEIR OWN SAFETY!

14thCentury:

Actually typically its $100 i think maybe City Council gave you your information regarding that. And on the face its a reason for the police to pick & choose who they want out there. I am hip hop & planned on making my living this summer by getting money on the street with a CD player, an amp, and a mic... Now i can see some pig coming up to me and telling me its too loud and revoking something I paid $100 I don't have for just because i dress fly and talk the real... what about your construction sites and loud cranes and bulldozers??? your subway cars ??? there are many noises on earth, and humans are a natural particles of earth our instruments were forged with the same. Your noise should not be more acceptable than mine... lets see what happens but I feel that we as artists will probably have to take a large protest to the City if there is a major crackdown on expression. This is very wrong.

peggy:

perhaps setting some stronger guidelines along the routes that are used to stage their talents....for the most part I enjoy the colorful and sometimes whacky and many times wonderful raw talent that we may witness.

WHAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED AS A VIOLATION OF THE NOISE ORDINANCE IS THE CONSTANT LATE NIGHT AND EARLY MORNING HIGH FREQUENCY SCREECHING OF THE SPORT MOTORCYCLES TERRORIZING OUR LAKE FRONT AND CITY STREETS. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO IS DISTRUBED BY THIS INSANE ACT OF NOISE,SPEED, AND DANGER IN OUR CITY?

Dee:

Okay what is this "We allow these people to perform...." comment? WHAT????

And what is so special about Michigan Avenue as opposed to anywhere else? Because the rich people shop there? UNBELIEVABLE! This city is really showing how racist and controlling it is. Of ALL the things this city should be doing to crack down on crime, murders and gun, they are spending their time, cracking down on street performers. Bravo Chicago! This city is a joke. I've been here for 3 years and I'm really beginning to think about moving elsewhere.

bob babiar:


Street performers are ok,but not on Michigan Ave and not in my face.If it is so important,have a designated area for noise showmenship.Now, good appropriate music for the shopping locality would be classes and excellent.

rikkkita:

I feel that they should not talk that away from them they are making there money honest living in chicago is like hell everytime they see someone trying to make a living in a good way there is always something said about it what's going to happen when the robbery rate goes up cause people don't have money and they are finding illegal ways to get it I feel like they should continue making there money the good way

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