Aiken is getting an entertainment boost this summer.
City staff have worked with the Aiken Downtown Development Association to allow for street performances, also known as busking, to be conducted within Aiken’s city limits this month.
Busking is allowed in larger cities in South Carolina and around the country and includes performances such as instrument playing, juggling and magic tricks.
Aiken City Council members passed the ordinance at their Monday night meeting after addressing concerns such as locations for performances and criteria performers will need to meet.
Performers will need to undergo a criminal background check and acquire a special permit, which is $25 and lasts until June 30 of each year, before being allowed to perform. No business license will be required unless the performer will be selling goods or products.
Buskers may perform from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. all days of the week.
Busking will be allowed within all city limits; however, only specific locations in the Downtown Business zone have been approved:
• On Barnwell Ave. at Flanigan’s Ice Cream Shoppe
• On Laurens St. at New Moon Cafe
• On Laurens St. at Wells Fargo Building
• On Laurens St. at 100 Laurens St.
• On Hayne Ave. at Osbon’ s Cleaners
• On Laurens St. at Lionel Smith Ltd.
• On Newberry north of The Alley
• Bank of America Building
• Park Ave. at the alley behind Nandinas
• Park Ave. Parkway between Laurens/ Newberry
• Park Ave. Parkway between Newberry/ Chesterfield
• Park Ave. Parkway between Chesterfield/ York
• Park Ave. Parkway between York/ Fairfield
• Park Ave. Parkway between Fairfield/ Union
• In front of the Aiken Train Depot
• In Gyles Park.
Locations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. If someone would like to perform at a certain location, they should contact the city manager’s office for prior approval at 803-642-7654. The city manager’s office will also make determinations on appropriate amplification equipment.
Performances at other public property, such as city parks, will be allowed as long as they do not conflict with reserved events.
Street performances are not permitted within 50 feet of the structure which is a school, hospital, funeral home or courthouse and which is designated as such. No performance may occur within 50 feet of the property line of a cemetery, as specified in the city’s ordinance.
Performances on private property, such as business parking lots, will be regulated by the performer(s) gaining permission from the property owner before applying for the special permit.