BUSKER’S amps could be kicked to the curb until after dark at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
More than 200 people responded to a Tamworth Regional Council survey on the amp cramp, at least 70 per cent are critical of the excessive volume.
Tamworth Regional Council has a proposed plan of attack for the blaring problem on Peel Street – a compromise.
Council’s events manager Barry Harley said the goal isn’t to break buskers spirits, it’s to keep everyone happy.
“We’re certainly not in the game to get rid of them but we want to make sure that 73 per cent [who voted against amplification in the survey] won’t get drowned out as well,” he said.
Option A is to make Tamworth Country Music Festival’s busking acoustic only, or, have strictly monitored minimal amplification – with no backing tracks from morning ‘till afternoon.
Then booming bands and backing tracks can turn up the volume from 3pm to 9pm.
It’s hoped the shift to night time amplification will attract an after dark crowd that’s waned at the festival in previous years.
The question of whether it can work has been sent to hundreds of buskers and retailers – and more than 150 have shared their views.
“We’re trying to engage all facets, everyone has a different interpretation of what is and isn’t busking,” Mr Harley said.
“We aren’t telling people what busking is, we’re taking results from everyone to get their suggestions – and what came back from the first survey is 73 per cent were quite definite in believing that busking should be acoustic only or limited PA.
“Most of those cited the PA’s were too large, too noisy and too loud.”
Of the 200 musically talented that responded to the first survey, 15 per cent said they would not return if amplification was banned at the festival.
Just more than 10 per cent said they weren’t fussed either way.
Tamworth’s council doesn’t want to be the nanny state on busking, or alienate those who like to use amps Mr Harley said.
“Our proposal is the result of a melting pot of opinions and genuine intent to get the best experience we can,” he said.
A strategy is expected to be locked in within the next week, it will become part of the terms and conditions of busking at Tamworth Council Music Festival.