A New Push to Regulate and License Musicians on the Ocean City Boardwalk
Ocean City's city council is set to consider a measure that would heavily regulate and license where people can open-up a guitar case and start strumming for tips on the city's boardwalk.
Shore News Today reports the measure would require boardwalk musicians to fork-over $25 to apply for a license, be fingerprinted (for another fee), possibly undergo a criminal background check, and then pay another $50 annual fee for the license. Boardwalk musicians would be limited to performing only on certain blocks, they would be assigned a spot, they could only perform on the ocean side, and within 4 feet of the railing. Beyond that, the proposed ordinance would allow the city to decide what kind of entertainment there could be and how many performances there could be per location and at what times. Of course, a person's performance license could be suspended or revoked if they don't follow the rules, they could be fined up to $2,000, and an appeals process would also be developed.
Holy cow! All this so someone can play "Stairway to Heaven" on an accordion across from a fudge shop.
I have been visiting the Ocean City Boardwalk for as long as I've been alive, but it wasn't until this past summer that I noticed people were playing music for tips on the boardwalk. And, to be honest, it didn't feel right -- the vibe of the Ocean City Boardwalk didn't seem to match the indie-musical artist scene that comes with people playing music for tips. But, on the other hand, heavily regulating a 20-something-year-old trumpet player and threatening him or her with a $2,000 fine so they can make $20 seems to be a little extreme.
Regardless, if you wish to voice your opinion one way or another, you are encouraged to stop by City Hall this Thursday evening at 7:00 to state your case in front of the city's leaders.
SOURCE: Shore News Today
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