Less noise, people and repetition.
Palma council are introducing measures to make the streets, squares and terraces of their fair city a better place for all. Within the next few weeks new ordinances will come into force which restrict the number of street artists, where they can perform and the equipment and repertoire they can use.
It's the council's response to many, many complaints from citizens, restaurant owners and maybe even tourists about the noise and nuisance the artists create with their music or pavement blocking presence in some of the busiest thoroughfares in Palma city centre and the resort of Playa de Palma.
Around 250 performers ply their trade as solo musicians, bands, jugglers, soap balloon blowers, statues and those that just seem to hang in mid-air. The new rules will restrict the number of performers – I think this means a full symphony orchestra with brass, strings, woodwind, and kettle drums can't pitch up outside McDonalds – restrict the places they can perform, prohibit the use of amplifiers, and best of all, enforce a change of repertoire every 30 minutes.
Every performer will have to submit an example of their work to the council – not as a sort of X Factor audition – but to enable the authorities to make a database of the artists, who will all have a license to perform at certain pitches and will pay a 'tax' to do so.
I'm all for this, as I can't think of anything worse – and I still shudder at the memory – of some accordionist turning up at Cappuccino in the Plaza de las Tortugas and endlessly playing the entire works of Edith Piaf interspersed with La Vie en Rose at ear splitting volume for the whole 4 days I stayed in an apartment just above.
As you can see from my photos – I could only find three of street performers in my collection of thousands of other Mallorca photos – I'm not really impressed by their talents. It's a bit of a Marmite situation – what about you, love them or loathe them?