Thursday, April 30, 2015

Regarding Bostons Busking Kerfuffle


Faneuil Hall/ Quincy Market has been a busking institution for over 50 years, one of the few American venues.

The latest development is that management want amps down to round 70 decibel level.
A $2500 yearly fee
One stock money line shared and parroted by every performer.

This is both a gambit and a bait and switch. It's been proven in court a number of times I believe that in America it's illegal to charge for busking permits. 

But a Golden Goose is a Golden Goose and freedom of speech means buskers have to let the psychiatrically impaired rant about Brian of Nazareth or beat a cows skull with a succession of pre-frozen squirrels or simply stand on the pitch for 30 mins grinning as they remember their last firm bowel movement. 
That's what Disney and Rocky Balboa enshrined when they wrote the constitution. 

The corporate pros don't like this and the performance pros don't like it either. 
The bait and switch kicks in the moment fees of any sort are applied because at this point, whatever excuse is used it can be very quickly established that performers are performance vendors and as such no better or worse that the other vendors with actual tangibles rather than hooks, stock lines and finale sinkers. 
You are either individuals expressing yourselves in public as the law permits or you are engaged in business and the moment you cough up a fee you are implicitly agreeing that it takes money to make money and lose all those privileges you need to continue the only argument you have. 

The gambit here is pretty straightforward. The $2500 is an initial negotiation position. 
In the wine and coke world of the third tier real estate management world where you have to either throw someone off your balcony who you hadn't previously paid for sex or get a series of articles published about your laughable half-brain and it's interactions with the actual world the ideal way to manage is to use a big broom. 
$2500 is a big broom. 

Fact of the matter is $2500/ $1000/ $500 will leave one or two or three still standing. Those people will bargain the price down, and then move onto the next item on the agenda which is the mind-meltingly absurd idea that everyone use the same cloned hatline like imperial performance stormtroopers some corporate bedwetter surrounded by yes-men and his drug problem thunk up between the inhale and wiping his nose. 
Guy's a genius, a legend in his own bathroom. 
Why not just automate performance? 

So that indicates that some of the hatlines are getting annoying, like bilking annoying, just as the amplification thing indicates the noise levels are getting annoying. 

As much as performers at these high end semi-corporate venues think they can manage each other, they can't, they have no authority, they lean on security who lean on whatever the problem is. 
There are exceptions but in most cases an unregulated envirionment degrades and convulses in a cycle. 
This is obviously a convulsion and the only way to deal is to manage the convulsion. 
The management have gone for an adversarial position. As templated and unimaginative as a third of the street shows that annoy them. 

Far better to embrace the street element and produce a festival that gives locals something to aspire to or copy. 
From our perspective the sad truth is you can't stand on principle if you've given them up for short cash and convenience and from the corps perspective the best of us are a unique feature but outnumbered by selfish shitheads with amps and bad attitudes. 
and so it goes.

No comments: