Music banned in parts of Oslo

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Police announced on Tuesday that buskers and street music would be banned during the day at Oslo’s central train station and along the lower part of the main boulevard, Karl Johans gate. The ban was prompted by complaints from local businesses, but police have not said how strictly it will be enforced.

From Wednesday, both street musicians and other kinds of music in the area would be banned from eight o’clock in the morning until five in the afternoon as far up Karl Johan as Dronningens gate, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

“We’re implementing a ban against all kinds of street music from tomorrow until August 1,” said Karsten Fossum from the Grønland police station. “Tomorrow officers must ensure the message about the ban is given. If it is not followed, we have the possibility of issuing fines, but we will see how we choose to follow that up.”

“As a starting point, music in public spaces is allowed, as long as you don’t use speakers,” said Fossum. “But in this case we have received so many complaints, we want to do an experiment with a ban. In parallel we’re asking the district medical officer to take noise measurements, so we can find out exactly how much noise is in question.”

Publishing firm Bazar told NRK it had complained many times about the “torture” the music inflicts on staff in their offices near the train station. But violinist Valentin Basile who sits at the bottom of Karl Johan, playing everything from Mozart to Norwegian folk music, said there are few street musicians in the area.

“I have sat here for five years, and think the ban is stupid,” he said. “A little further up the street there is a lot of music from the shops.” Police will reassess the ban in August.

newsinenglish.no staff