What laws are there on the sidewalks public forum for music in state of Washington and city of Spokane?

February 21st, 2012

Question by Rick B: What laws are there on the sidewalks public forum for music in state of Washington and city of Spokane?
In the city of Spokane, and probably other cities in Washington, a street musician is required to have a business license or permit to play music. Some, but not all businesses oppose musicians from playing in front of their establishments, even if a person playing is over 10 feet away from doorways. Some private security patrols ruthlessy harrass street musicians. Some business along with the security , who oppose, say they own the sidewalks. Also in Spokane, with a business license in hand, a person is not allowed to play in the downtown Riverfront Park. A Seattle street musician recommended to get as much favorable publicity as possible to help embrace the music culture. Your views rather opinion, and/or fact, pro, and/or con would much appreciated.
Harpman Hatter Spokane Street Musician
Lets look at the question, What laws are there, is the main point of the question.
I am a spokane street musician, play the blues, and play it well. I also have a business license and do not oppose having one. I earn my money playing on the streets and the people here in spokane are supportive. The question is being asked is more for the sake of other musicians who are harrassed.
So any further comments with this extra info would be appreciated, but please if you could help answer the question, I just get the run around, or stumped on where to look for the laws.

Best answer:

Answer by raichasays
Sounds like you know the laws, but disagree with them and the method of their enforcement?

I have lived in areas with high concentrations of street “entertainers”. I agree that permits should be required and that local businesses should have a say in that process. Why? Because a lot of these “entertainers” are doing little more than panhandling and driving away patrons of taxpaying brick and mortar businesses.

Regulation also keeps competition on the street from becoming a turf war. In the last year, at least two fights have broken out on Hollywood Boulevard among the “entertainers” dressed as Wookies and other characters, who were battling over the photo opp with tourists. This is not good for tourism or local business and certainly does nothing for the reputation of entertainers at large.

What do you think? Answer below!

Posted by admin

One Response

  1. Barry C says:

    When I lived in Boston, I hung out in a group of musicians that included Mary Lou Lord, who apparently had made a name for herself as a busker in Seattle. She certainly made a living doing that in Boston in the subways.

    Maybe you can google her and find out.

    If you do, see if you can confirm the story that she was with Kurt Cobain before Courtney Love… đŸ™‚

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