A musician and international busker from Morecambe is helping to keep street entertainment alive in the UK with a fundraising gig in Lancaster this weekend.
Based in Morecambe for the last 10 years, Weybourne “Chester” Bingley is a member of Keep Streets Live, a non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting busking and street entertainment in the UK.
Chester said the event at The Robert Gillow on Saturday night is one of a series of gigs being run to raise awareness about the cause.
Also on the bill with Chester is singer and guitarist Alexander Varey and Australian folk/punk troubadour Benny Mayhem.
Chester said: “We oppose compulsory licensing as we believe that public spaces should be open to the arts and performers, and this creates vibrant and pleasant town centres for all to enjoy.
“Keep Streets Live supports voluntary codes of conduct, and proposes working alongside councils, local businesses and residents to draw up solutions to any problems which arise.”
Chester praised the policy in Lancaster and Morecambe, describing them as “welcoming towns for buskers to perform”.
“No license is required, and Lancaster has a voluntary set of guidelines which can be found on the council’s website,” he added.
“In the Northwest we are meeting Liverpool City Council today, Thursday May 1, to continue work on a new code of best practice for the city, and have also been involved in a similar process on a smaller scale in Accrington.
“Nationally we have spearheaded a campaign against new regulations in Camden that have now criminalised any performance of music in public places without the council’s permission. Comedian’s Bill Bailey and Mark Thomas have been amongst those who have supported us there.”
A daytime busking event in Morecambe from 11am on Saturday is also due to take place in the central prom/Euston road area. For more info visit www.keepstreetslive.com.