Thursday, June 24, 2010

A new audition and permit system for metro musicians is splitting the busking crowd

A new audition and permit system for metro buskers has a few happily anticipating increased power and safety, while others call it ill-conceived and exclusionary.

The Regroupement des Musiciens du Métro du Montréal, integrated as a non-profit association this past fall, is trying to systematize serious metro musicians, ensure members’ access to the most profitable spots and represent the musicians to the STM. The group held auditions this spring. Of an estimated 300 or more musicians who play in the metro annual, 165 auditioned and passed. Now more than 120 buskers have photo ID permits after paying $80 in fees. But opposing to widespread rumor and media reports, anyone is still gratis to play music in the metro.

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