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Long Beach takes steps to let street musicians play




Street musician Chelsea Williams plays her guitar at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
Street musician Chelsea Williams plays her guitar at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
Flickr user Kim Davies (Creative Commons)

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The Long Beach City Council last night approved a plan to study a formal system regulating street musicians.

Performing on the street is not illegal, but Shea Newkirk with the Long Beach Music Council, which lobbied for this measure, says there is confusion without any system in place.

"Some musicians said police told them they needed a permit to perform, which isn't true right now," he says, "and I think there's a disconnect between organizations on what the regulations really are and how to enforce them."

He points to Santa Monica's regulations as a model. If you want to perform in public places like the Third Street Promenade or the Santa Monica Pier, you must apply for a $37 permit from the city.

Newkirk also hopes that Long Beach carves out certain areas of the city where performing is encouraged.

"I think street musicians improve the quality of life for residents, and be an attractor for tourists," he says.

Listen to the full interview by clicking the audio player above.