Street performers approved by City Council for trial period of 30 days

LACONIA — The sound of singing, strumming and drumming may soon be heard on the boardwalk at The Weirs as well as in parks and street corners around the city following the decision of the City Council this week to permit William LeClair and Joe Casellas to perform on municipal property for a trial period of 30 days. They will accept tips.
In a letter requesting permission to perform, LeClair, a guitarist, explained that he and Casellas, who plays bongos, wished to use an amplifier for harmonics and mixing, noting that it is designed for use in parks and on streets.
City Manager Scott Myers told the councilors that but for the amplifier the duo needed no permission to play on municipal property so long as they did not erect a tent, offer anything for sale or obstruct vehicular or foot traffic. However, because LeClair wants to use an amplifier, he requires approval from the council to seek loudspeaker and entertainment permits from the Licensing Board.
Councilor Ava Doyle (Ward 1), who represents The Weirs, said that residents and businesses at the resort welcomed street performers — jugglers, stilt walkers, mimes and others as well as musicians. However, she reminded her colleagues that there has been much controversy among owners of entertainment venues and innkeepers about noise at night and expressed concern about buskers competing with businesses that booked entertainment. She suggested approving a trial period of 30 days and limiting the hours, perhaps to between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
LeClair told the council that he did not expect to play into the night and certainly not beyond 8 p.m. If the permits are granted, he said the two intend to play popular songs from the 1960s and 1970s along with some inspirational and original numbers, primarily in the afternoon on weekends.
Myers said that LeClair could be expected to apply "common sense" and in approving his request for a 30-day trial period, the council chose not to impose time limits.