Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Before I start my speech, I would like all of you to image yourself as a teenager who loves music and simply wants to perform for fun. You try to perform on the streets as you are just starting out, but you get reported or even arrested for busking just because you don’t have a license.
How does that make you feel? Frustrated and disappointed, right? That, everyone, shows exactly how irritating and unnecessary it is to license buskers.Our team is strongly against this motion. We believe that rules and regulations could be set up to supervise the street performers. However, a license is uncalled-for. I as the first speaker, will talk about how a license deprives the performers of their freedom and prevents cultural exchange.
My second speaker will further elaborate on why a license is unneeded. My third speaker will do the rebuttals and sum up our case. Firstly, street performances are not necessarily done for money. Some do it for fun, some see them as a beginning stage for new, emerging talents and some see them as a place for experience and cultural exchange. Subjecting street performers to a license will hinder the development of Hong Kong’s arts and culture.
This is especially challenging for newcomers to get a license as they lack experience. Busking has always been the starting point for many artists. For example, Anita Mui first started out in Temple Street. She then went on to become a superstar after earning the admiration of the passersby. This proves the power of busking. However, by interfering with buskers, we are only blocking the progress of talented artists.
Busking should be encouraged in Hong Kong, as it provides an opportunity for all, irrespective of their background. Secondly, even if regulations should be implemented, buskers should not be regulated through official policies. According to Mandy Cheng Hiu-tung, Project Manager of a busking policy research study called “Our Playground”, buskers should regulate themselves instead. Cheng says buskers could coordinate among themselves to prevent problems such as noise or the occupation of public space. She thinks street performance should be natural and that any third party intervention should be avoided.
This is due to the fact that the government may lack the expertise to assess the performer’s act. Self-regulation should be implemented as it is more appropriate for the buskers to evaluate fellow performers. Lyson Sze, a 29 year-old freestyle football player has been a street performer for five years and demonstrates how self-regulation can actually work.
He performs in Tsim Sha Tsui every Friday night with around four other acts and they all share a spot. Each one performs for 20 minutes on rotation. As we can see, self-regulation is definitely an achievable and pragmatic system.Ladies and gentlemen. As we have proven, subjecting street performers to a license is detrimental to the development of culture and arts and that self-regulation should be done by the street performers to ensure that the performances are permissible, thus rendering a license futile.
It is clear that this motion must not stand thank you.