The City of Asheville is considering regulating busking. The problem, we are told, is safety. Buskers crowd sidewalks. Crowds gathered to watch them crowd sidewalks and spill onto roads. This can be a problem for people in wheelchairs.

Proposed were three busking zones to measure 3’x4’, 5’x6’, and 4’x8’. Buskers objected, saying they weren’t consulted and, worse, city representatives had said they would solicit their input for shaping relevant policy a priori.

Pianist Andrew J. Fletcher argued he couldn’t fit his piano into the littlest zone, which would go where he normally plays. He said:

I don’t like the concept of art in a box. Art exists to destroy boxes and to get people to question things.

The city will proceed with marking the zones, but implementation is on-hold.