Busker gets $500 break

The City of Kelowna says it's revoking a $500 ticket issued to a local busker who was told he was playing too loudly.

News of the ticket – and a video of the encounter – have received thousands of views and shares.

The noise violation ticket issued to Michael Elliott last weekend has been downgraded to a warning, the city said in a press release issued Friday afternoon.

After reviewing the circumstances leading up to the ticket, staff decided to seek a more co-operative approach, the city said.

“We always try for a co-operative approach and use a ticket as a last resort,” said Rob Mayne, divisional director of corporate and protective services. “The bylaw officer tried this approach initially, but was unable to negotiate a solution in the moment with the performer and decided to issue the ticket.”

The bylaw officer was acting on a complaint about the amplified music, the city said.

“Although we have issued warnings to this performer last summer and even the day before he was ticketed, we are willing to try again. We want to arrive at a solution that is fair to all the other buskers,” said Mayne.

Festivals Kelowna operates the busking program and issues permits to play at designated "Busk Stops." Elliott was not playing at one of those locations when he was ticketed.

“Bylaw officers have the difficult job of reacting to complaints from property owners and residents, while educating those who are not complying with bylaws to get them to change their behaviour,” said Mayne.

No bylaw exists to prohibit busking in the city.

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