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Accordion banned in Comox, Vancouver Island?

D

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Reading a 4th june article about an accordion player silenced and threatened fines in Comox. 

He is denied a license or permit by the town hall staff. 

Is this legal? 

The accordionist has some support in the local community. 
However I read about a dozen complaints (from accordion haters?) 

I think he plays the accordion without amplification. 
I don't think an accordion is too loud to play outdoors. 

Let's support accordion buskers or accordion busking in public. 

I think every accordion player has seen or lived a similar situation. 

What are the opinions or experiences of the members here?

Do we need to activate article 5 of the 
New Accordionists Treaty Organisation? 

An attack on one accordionist is an attack on all accordionists? 

I have seen double standards in the past. 
Loud rock guitar with amps or a pack of djembe players are okay. 

But an acoustic accordionist, oh no, too loud....
 

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Stephen pid=67772 dateline=1571599611 said:
Reading a 4th june article about an accordion player silenced and threatened fines in Comox. ...
See news link and others using search term Accordion banned in Comox, Vancouver Island. The complainants letter regarding his preference for the barking of sea lions to the accordion is curious.
 

Eddy Yates

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You sure it’s not Comics, Vancouver Island?
I’d look into the background of this Ringworm person and see if she ever read “Accordion Crimes”.
From Wikipedia: “In 1991, the local economy was given a boost when 414 Squadron was assigned to CFB Comox. “
I’m pretty sure an accordion is quieter than a jet fighter.
I say as many of us as possible learn “There Is a Tavern In the Town” and meet there on July 1, 2020 and play it in the town square for 10 hours.
 
M

maugein96

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Eddy Yates said:
You sure it’s not Comics, Vancouver Island?
I’d look into the background of this Ringworm person and see if she ever read “Accordion Crimes”.
From Wikipedia: “In 1991, the local economy was given a boost when 414 Squadron was assigned to CFB Comox. “
I’m pretty sure an accordion is quieter than a jet fighter.
I say as many of us as possible learn “There Is a Tavern In the Town” and meet there on July 1, 2020 and play it in the town square for 10 hours.

Eddy,

If they did that here they would all be jailed and their instruments confiscated after 15 minutes, if they refused to desist from playing. In most parts of Scotland, our national police force will regularly move buskers on as a matter of routine, regardless of what instrument they are playing, unless they are performing as part of an official entertainment event. 

Therefore, on certain days of the year busking is allowed, and on others it isn't.

By contrast, in the good old tourist capital of Edinburgh, they actually encourage buskers to perform in the streets between 0900 - 2100, but with the following stipulations:- They must not perform within 50 metres of another busker, and they are required to move to another location at least 50 metres away, after one hour of playing. Edinburgh City Council also stipulate that buskers must keep away from ATMs and doorways, and not obstruct the footway (sidewalk). 

During the Edinburgh Festival you'll hear music on the streets from all corners of the globe, and most of it adds colour to the celebrations. Accordionists are few and far between, and it has been some time since I saw one in the city centre. 

The more usual fare are the bagpipers, whose efforts range from the excellent, down to the tuneless racket of the novice and low grade players. Of course the buskers expect to make a few UK pounds for their efforts, and it isn't classed as begging. They aren't allowed to sell CDs, however, without a Street Trader's Licence. If any busker is annoying a resident or shopkeeper, the police have authority to seize their instruments and equipment if they fail to move on when directed to do so.  

No licence is required to busk anywhere in Scotland, but different local authorities have their own individual thoughts on the matter. 

Noise abatement is becoming a very important issue in various places, and since 1984 you can be prosecuted for playing a musical instrument in your own home in Scotland at any time of the day or night, if a complaint is made to the local authority by neighbours. Recording equipment will be placed in the complainant's home, and if the noise is deemed to be excessive your instruments are seized and auctioned off by the police. You will also receive a fine in court if the case is proved. 

I'm lucky that most of my neighbours are OK with my efforts, but I was obliged to stop playing about 25 years ago in my previous address, after a neighbour threatened to report me. I never fancied playing on the street in Edinburgh, so the accordions remained in their cases, unless I knew she wasn't at home! 

Maybe somebody from Comox local authority had heard the legions of awful bagpipers in Edinburgh, and decided to take a leaf out of Edinburgh City Council's book?

In the UK a significant number of street musicians are often illegal immigrants, and unfortunately that has a bearing on the way busking is dealt with in Scotland.
 

Tom

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I'll see you there Eddy!
 
D

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I think regulations and laws are normal for buskers and street musicians.
Its good cities have laws on busking, and in Ghent they do it in a similar way like in Edinburgh.

There is a difference between busking and begging for money.
I can understand the authorities have to intervene set limits.

But I have some serious questions about the double standards for guitars or accordions.
(I play both accordion and guitar)



The pdf with the bylaw enforcement and the email communication is downpage.
A line like an accordion is unreasonable at any location raises questions about the legal base for not granting a permit or license to accordion players.

https://www.vancouverislandfreedail...ancouver-island-accordion-silencing-revealed/

On April 30, the Town’s bylaw officer Bill Smith wrote in an email to Russworm he has “received a number of complaints about (an accordion player) … if he wants to play the guitar that should be okay, but an accordion is unreasonable at any location.”

About a month later on May 27, Smith said he called the musician and asked him if he also plays the guitar as that would be less noisy at the marina.

“(He) states he only plays the accordion, (and I) told him we can’t issue a licence for the marina for accordion playing as we have received calls about it. He said that was discrimination against accordion players. I tried to explain in the nuisance bylaw to him and he wouldn’t allow me to talk, and told me he was going to the press and a lawyer,” wrote Smith.
 
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maugein96

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There was an old saying in Scotland that the definition of a true gentleman was "a man who can play the accordion, but doesn't". I do believe the same saying was prevalent in the rest of the UK, with the word "accordion" being replaced with "bagpipes", "banjo", and "saxophone". 

Over the years amplified distorted guitar music has been deemed acceptable, whether everybody likes it or not. I can remember an accordionist in Scotland being asked to put his instrument away in a folk club held in the lounge bar of a hotel, as he was drowning out the other musicians with his big Scottish tuned accordion and refused to play it on any register other than three voice musette. 

I would have to say that the majority of accordionists I've heard playing in the street tend not to show the instrument up in its best light. In Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow a pensioner regularly plays old Shadows electric guitar numbers through a very loud amplifier, and he gets away with it as he is a very good player. 

If he played the accordion, even if he was a virtuoso, I fear he probably wouldn't have a chance among the various undesirables who frequent the area. 

Last time I can remember the accordion being popular in the streets of Glasgow was when it tended to be played by blind war veterans. That would have been in the 60s and 70s, when accordion music in general was in a state of decline.  

In certain areas of Scotland some people still hold the accordion in high regard, particularly in the various clubs that cater for it, but here in Hawick "Blind Jim" is getting on a bit, and I haven't seen him play in the street for a good few years now. A handful of immigrants, who could hardly manage to play a whole tune right through, caused the police to move all street musicians on for causing a nuisance, and no exception appears to have been made for those who had been performing for years. There was no trouble from those homeless people. They just phoned their relatives to come and pick them up in their Mercs and BMWs, handing over whatever cash they had amassed whilst playing. 

Perhaps the local authorities have forgotten what street entertainment is, amongst all the other issues going on in the world.
 
D

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We shall squeeze in the fields 
We shall squeeze in the streets 
We shall squeeze in the hills 

We shall never surrender or push the air release button
 

Eddy Yates

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There’s a piano in the walking mall here in Helena that anyone can play. You mainly hear versions of Smoke on the Water. I did a news segment for an upcoming concert of mine, and the usual complainer, a massage therapist on the second floor, stuck her head out, ready to complain, then backed off. I may try accordion next to see where prejudice lies.
Looks like most posters here are on the side of noise abatement. I don’t see any municipalities closing down the factories and computer servers for the soul-destroying hum that emanates from them around the clock.
 

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