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When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Street performers to be licensed in Benidorm

Living statue
Street performers can be seen all over the world in most of the popular tourist areas - mime artists, dancers, buskers, living statues. They attract huge crowds who stop to watch and often throw a few coins into a cup or bowl. No-one is accosted or harassed to watch and often it is very entertaining.

But are changes are adrift in Benidorm ... the City Council have passed a regulation that all "performers" must be licensed and will need to pass an audition/screen test in order to obtain one! To obtain a permit the artists will be required to pay 75 euros per year and also register as "autonomo" (self employed) meaning that they have to pay taxes and social security contributions - looking at some of the coppers they collect Id be suprised if they collect enough to pay for the yearly license never mind pay tax on it too! In some instances, performers will be required to take out public liability insurance in case a spectator is injured - I think that some of the British health and safety fairies have landed in town!

Only 20 permits per year will be issued and they are restricted to ten locations in Benidorm where they can perform. Dove Park or Elche Park as the Spanish call it, is one of the designated spots that will allow both individual and group performers to show off their skills - group performers, meaning 2 or more performers are restricted to only 3 locations in the town.
Dove Park - an approved spot.
One of the reasons for this regulation is that last year "turf wars" were breaking out between performers as to who occupied the best locations with most foot fall. Local businesses also made complaints that they were obstructing access to their shops and premises and residents lodged complaints about loud music going on late into the night - not something that usually bothers the Spanish I find.

I wonder who will be on the judging panel for the auditions and how they will mark the performances of  a living statue - as technically they just stand there. Will the judges throw a coin into the cup to watch the reaction and movements to see if they are deemed adequate enough ? What a daft regulation .... strange how these trivial issues get passed on the nod yet anything of any substance or importance tend to be argued about for months if not years.

Will the little Indian man, going from restaurant to restaurant selling red roses require a licence soon?

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Sand sculptures on Benidorm beach

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