Street Musicians Won't Stay Silent in Downtown Newport

May 31, 2013

Each summer Newport becomes a mecca of live music, yet there are no musicians performing on the streets.  The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Newport is trying to change that.

Newport Music Festival, Sunset Music Festival, the Folk Fest, and the Jazz Fest, in this city live music is everywhere, except on the streets.

Newport currently bans street performing, or busking, without an event permit.

This makes it hard for musicians without a stage to play on to get their music to the public.

So the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Newport is bringing a week of busking to downtown this summer.

Aaron Abrahamson Cote is a free-lance musician, and a board member on the Arts and Cultural Alliance.  

He said that busking provides local musicians with exposure, and tourists with an experience distinct to Newport.

“We have some of the greatest musicians in the region right in Newport.  Why can’t they take a guitar out on the street and play, and when people walk by, they’re looking at it thinking culture and music is everywhere, this is part of what Newport is.”

Cote said there’s also an economic impact, as it helps local musicians trying to make a living in the city.  So far about 16 musicians are scheduled to perform downtown between July 29th and August 1st.