"Busking" approved by South Bend council

You may not have heard of the term, but buskers are now able to play their music on the streets of downtown South Bend.

Prior to the Monday night, Dec. 9th, common council meeting, there were now laws on the books directly addressing street musicians playing for tips.

In fact, under strict enforcement of the city's panhandling laws, buskers could fall under the same category of rules. Councilman Tim Scott was at the forefront of Bill No. 65-13, which amended chapter four of municipal code to allow buskers and sidewalk performers to play under a new set of guidelines.

Buskers can apply for a $20 annual permit. That permit allows them to play for tips throughout South Bend's business district with some limitations.

There can be no performing within 20 feet of a street corner, cross walk or outdoor dining area. Buskers have to remain a minimum of 50 feet apart from one another to prevent crowding, which according to Councilman Scott, wouldn't be a bad thing necessarily.

Performance spots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve, daily basis. But be warned, police or DTSB officers will break up any crowding if it disrupts sidewalk or street traffic.

Those in favor of the ordinance told the council it would enhance the down and make it more European.

The council also moved forward with the expansion of riverfront development project to businesses located within 1,500 feet of the banks of the St. Joseph River.

Companies wishing to serve liquor for cultural or entertainment purposes, instead of pure alcohol consumption purposes like a night club, can apply for a discounted permit of $1,000 to sell alcohol.

Serving on a table top or counter and in glass containers are among some of the requirements for potentially businesses to meet. The hope is to expand the downtown with arts and entertainment in mind.

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