Over-amped seafront buskers driving people mad

Posted On 18 May 2022 at 7:30 pm

The pitch by the Upside Down House which bounces the music far and wide

Amplified buskers performing at full volume in front of the Upside Down House on the seafront for hours every day are driving traders and residents up the wall.

During lockdown, bands started using the new space around the i360 for outdoor performances while indoor venues were closed.

Now, the spot is still being used by buskers – and their amps, plus the acoustics of the Upside Down House and the flat surfaces surrounding it mean their music can be heard loud and clear as far away as the flats around Regency Square.

One trader, Finn Hopson from Brighton Photography in the West Pier Arches, said he enjoyed busking in short bursts – but not when the music was so loud it made it difficult to speak to customers in his shop for hours at a time.

He said: “One or two buskers are coming down and playing for six or seven hours a day.

“They all come with an amp and sit there with a microphone and stand in the Upside Down House’s roof and it absolutely dominates the space. It’s quite difficult to speak to customers.

“I think all of us would agree that we are not against busking and there are guys who set up and are more sympathetic.

“It’s just when someone come down and murders Bob Dylan for six hours.”

He said traders wanted the council to enforce its existing rules, which tell buskers not to use amplifiers, not to play in a spot for more than an hour and to move on if traders or residents ask them to.

One resident of Regency Square has been regularly tweeting the council and Upside Down House asking them to take action. Last month, he said: “The weather’s better so on cue the super amped busker is back at his makeshift rock arena at Upside Down House to blast antisocially loud electric guitar music into our flat all afternoon.

“Windows all closed and still it’s louder than my radio!”

Last week, he tweeted to Upside Down House: “Your building is being consciously and calculatedly used by street buskers to amplify their volume to an unreasonable level – a level that is disrupting the lives of residents in the square opposite (for I know I am far from alone; I have spoken to others having the same disruption.)

“Your employees are there when this is going on. The council won’t send anyone out each time a busker sets up there. They just say “buskers have to move on after 20mins” … The buck goes back and forth because secretly you all just think I/we are moaning killjoys.”

A council spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of loud music being played near the Upside Down House.

“We have not received any formal complaints but would of course take them very seriously. Anyone wishing to make a complaint can do so via our website.

“Our officers will continue to monitor the area and look to engage with anyone playing music as a first step.

“However, we will take further action if necessary.

“It’s important that everyone is able to enjoy our wonderful seafront.”

  1. X Reply

    And the drummers who congregate by the bandstand… the same beat hour after hour after hour… lovely one weekend, or two. But as a local resident it’s bleeding torcher 😂

  2. Hove Guy Reply

    It is not only noisy buskers who are a nuisance. Last week I walked along the seafront and some arrogant idiot was walking up and down with an amplifier at full volume. When he was passing the cafe with outside seating, he drowned out the sound of a singer who was entertaining the people sitting there. And I thought those days of loud ghetto blasters were over once headphones became popular. The council needs to act on this outrage as soon as possible before other morons get in the act. But then, of course, we are dealing with B&H Council, so……………………

  3. AO Reply

    It’s not just there.Churchill Square, and other areas in town have buskers louder than any music concert. It is damaging to hearing. And I love the way the council deny that there received complaints.

  4. Jon Reply

    I enjoy the buskers on the seafront and they’re probably using the upside down house to shelter from the wind rather than a devious plan to amplify the music

    • Hove Guy Reply

      But they don’t have to be so loud that they ruin the enjoyment of others there.

  5. Benj Reply

    Ancient navigational charts mark a place to the East where there is a peaceful and quiet place.

    • Benj Reply

      Point taken, music levels may not be preferable for all and if that is upsetting people it’s not in the spirit of playing music together. But can someone please tell me why the council has allowed a dozen photograph stands (although so poorly organised is this attempt they forgot the photos) to be erected in the middle of the square where people like to congregate instead of placing them on the pebbles similar to those near the Brighton Music Hall?!

  6. Car Delenda Est Reply

    The only way to deal with it is with more police, but that won’t happen with an austerity government and the noise makers know it.

  7. The man cub Reply

    It’s a simple solution to a simple problem…have buskers play to an agreed decible level for an agreed window of time. Everyone loves to hear music…everyone enjoys the opportunity to express themselves,don’t let the few ruin it for the rest of the us. Free expression on the seafront and other places around town is one of the joys of Brighto always has been but heavy handed sweeping rules will only cause more animosity to an already despised council.

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