Are you facing charges for creating art in the subway? Did you have a ticket thrown out and want to sue? Or are you looking for clear tips for your first time performing?
We have advice for you here, starting with your rights in theory, moving on to what you can do if there’s a problem in practice, and concluding with contact information for lawyers we’ve worked with in the past. And we strongly recommend reviewing City Lore’s comprehensive “Know Your Rights” guide for subway performers.
Above all, remember that you are well-protected. Since 2012, the NYPD has paid out $50,000 in settlements to wrongfully arrested or wrongfully ticketed performers. With any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I respect what you are trting to do. I was there thirty years age in Washington, D.C. where during the Ronald Regan presidency it was normal to harrass, arrest and confiscate the instruments until a court date. There will always be a fight for civil rights and It comes from the fight of our basic humane rights to express ourselves.
Due to a recent change in Park rules on 8 May, it is now illegal for performers to accept donations in CP, Union Square, The High Line and Battery. So far two performers have been issued summonses ($250) on The High Line and I have been harrassed for doing completely legal things there. Just a heads-up all.
The change in Parks rules was extremely disappointing — especially after so many music supporters came out against it. I’ve asked around in Central Park about the consequences of those changes, and it sounds like many performers there haven’t noticed a big change — i.e. the news haven’t resulted in tickets yet. But it means that performers are no longer protected whenever ticketing begins. From what you say, the High Line is already experiencing big problems.
Are you aware of any organizing efforts or publicity about that? I’m not sure we’re able to take a leadership role at all — we’re spread a bit thin already! — but we’d love to be help out. Drop me an email!
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We started a new mobile app – Buskr – (iPhone only at the moment) that lets all performers promote wherever they are performing and collect tips via a debit or credit card. So, Buskr lets you collect tips from people that don’t have cash and collect tips when its “against park rules” to.
Check it out in the app store – Buskr. Or at http://www.buskrapp.com