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Opinion : A sleeping tramp with a guitar is not street entertainment

| May 31, 2017

What could be nicer to brighten up any town centre than some nice street entertainment to amuse passers by?

Walk around Wycombe at lunchtime and occasionally there is a performer playing a musical instrument or singing to brighten things up. Indeed if done properly street entertainment can positively enhance a town.

Sadly all too often the only entertainment in Wycombe town centre is provided by a gentleman of the road sitting on the pavement with a harmonica playing a few unconnected notes to make up an impromptu tune.

Yesterday my good self happened to partake in a late lunch. During my regular walk around the town centre yours truly happened to walk under the Guildhall and into the entrance of the prestigious shopping complex.

Sitting to the left of the door to the shopping centre was a ‘street entertainer’ with a guitar in hand. Unfortunately the performer was not performing, rather they were fast asleep. I fear a possible combination of the hot weather and too many tinnies had over come the poor soul.

A sleeping tramp with a guitar is not street entertainment. Indeed it’s a disgrace that something like that should be allowed in the town centre.

Isn’t it about time that street entertainment was organised properly in Wycombe with licensed and regulated performers whipping the crowds into a frenzy with their entertainment?

Wycombe has several Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in place to tackle prostitution and (alcohol related) anti-social behaviour in the town centre. I feel we need some more PSPOs to tackle vagrancy and street performers.

If a PSPO was in place regulating street performance the police and authorities could be called upon to rid our town of the unlicensed performers who sing out of tune, can’t play their instruments or fall asleep during the chorus.

Why not set up a register of authorised performers and create designated performance areas such as in Frogmoor, in the High Street, in the bus station, outside the railway station and under the Guildhall and little market house?

Schools, musical oriented organisations, poets and other reputable entertainers could all apply to perform and put smiles on the faces of those who pass by. Perhaps a few professional performers could also be hired to attract crowds with short gigs on busy and prominent days throughout the year?

Why stop at music? Maybe some historical lectures could be organised so local historians could tell passers by about the history of the town? Perhaps a lecture under the Guildhall informing those watching of the history of the building they were standing close to?

If there was a published schedule of performances people would know when, where and who would be performing then they could turn up to watch the show.

Sadly I fear such a simple idea is just too much for our town and for evermore the historic town centre of Wycombe will be graced with the sight of drunken tramps holding guitars while sleeping beside Grade I listed buildings.

What do you think?

My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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