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article imageMadrid buskers must audition before being allowed to play (video)

By Anne Sewell     Aug 22, 2013 in World
Madrid - The Spanish capital's central district has been declared by the Madrid Town Hall to be an "acoustic protection zone." This is in a bid to protect residents and tourists from the sounds of amateur street musicians.
While David Erguido, councilor for Madrid's Centro district says "they weren’t looking to get rid of anyone or ban anything,” he does feel that residents and visitors to the city should be protected from the experience of less-than-talented buskers.
“We want to offer the best impression possible to tourists and allow local residents to get their rest too,” he told local media.
From now on, buskers in Madrid will need to undergo a “suitability test” before imposing their musical skills on passers-by.
Busker in Malaga  Andalucia  Spain
Busker in Malaga, Andalucia, Spain
Anyone wishing to become a street musician must bring their CV and play to a panel of judges, who will then assess whether they are “real” musicians and not just playing for the money.
The panel will be comprised of members of the Music and Museums Department of Madrid Town Hall, and will grant free one-year permits to musicians who they deem to be a cultural asset for the city.
Playing hours in Spain's capital will also be restricted to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the winter period and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the summer months.
Barcelona, another major city in Spain, has already imposed a permit on busking in the city, with unlicensed musicians facing fines of around €200.
The video below explores a few of the buskers currently performing in the metro in Madrid, some of whom are pretty talented, and above is a video of a busker who hopped on a train in the metro and played a tune from Dr Zhivago on a "hammered dulcimer."
More about Spain, Madrid, Busker, Musician, Test
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