Monday, May 11, 2009

Buskers: Love Them Or Hate Them?

We don't see buskers that often in the DC Metro system. We've seen the "Metro Trio," a group of barbershop singers, and the Chinese guy who sets up often in the Court House station, but that's about it.
In yesterday's Washington Post, there was a letter to the editor complaining that the Metro Trio had been arrested by Metro police. The letter writer said Metro police should focus instead on the real crimes being committed in Metro and that buskers like the Metro Trio actually provide a welcome distraction for riders.

What do you think about buskers in Metro? Are they a welcome sign of life or a nuisance?

In New York, they seem to encourage buskers, and you can even check out a "roster" online. Thanks Erik!

Metro police hard at work
Metro police breaking the rules?
More remo-cops added (WMATA)

Other news:
Bank card Payment system weighed for Metro (WaPo) Express has a poll about this here.
VRE looks into starting train line in Gainesville (DC Examiner)
WaPo editorial on federal funding. See this.

Photo: runneralan
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Anonymous said...

Most of them are nuisances, but the Metro Trio was pretty good even though I'm not fond of that style of music.

Timothy said...

They're often at Crystal City as I'm leaving work. They sound great (I don't really like the music either) and are harmless. Seriously MPD, you can't think of ANYTHING more pressing?

Erik said...

I enjoy them, and I think they should be able to sing. But maybe to make it more legit, Metro should hold tryouts like in NYC to make music a sanctioned event?

voteprime said...

WMATA held auditions two summers ago. Whatever happened with that?

I assume there must be some sort of process for performance approval because I see people at various metro station entrances almost daily (like the guy bad trumpet player outside Bethesda station, or the Asian guy outside Dupont circle North playing that odd stringed instrument). And what about that brass band that always collects a large following on various sides of the actual Dupont Circle? There's no way they're doing that illegally and not being stopped by the cops.

So I feel like if people want to perform inside a Metro station there must be a way to do it legally.

Michael said...

These guys are great, they always get a couple of bucks from me when I pass them. Usually I have time to stop for them to finish a song.

Buskers should be allowed or even encouraged in the non-paid areas of stations as long as they don't harass customers or block the way with their crowds.

Rukasu said...

They gotta do something about the no talent hacks with the amps that pump out midi style beats while they strum 3 chords on a beat up epiphone (FB, FC SW, EM)...but leave the erhu guy and the metro trio be

Anonymous said...

Music is sorely lacking from the Metro. Let them busk.

Sean Robertson said...

I wholeheartedly agree with the majority of comments here. The buskers add a much needed sense of life and energy to the Metro system. This guy, for example, was quite impressive:

Live at Metro CenterI think there's enough serious crime on Metro that the people don;t have a single f***ing excuse for wasting their time harassing buskers. God knows there's at least a few twelve year old girls eating on the system at any given time they could be going after instead. ;-)

WallaWallaHooHoo said...

They are a nuisance.

Greg said...

But what if they were the best buskers in the world?

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