Street Performers March on Westminster City Hall to Demand End of Licensing in Covent Garden

Equity has criticised the imposition of licensing for street performance in Covent Garden as an unnecessary over-regulation.

By: Nov. 24, 2023
Street Performers March on Westminster City Hall to Demand End of Licensing in Covent Garden

Street performers represented by Equity, the performing arts and entertainment trade union, marched on Westminster City Hall to deliver a 5,000 signature petition to Council Leader Adam Hug, calling on him to revoke the licensing scheme in Covent Garden.

Equity has criticised the imposition of licensing for street performance in Covent Garden as an unnecessary over-regulation that will force street performers to pay to work. The petition describes how Equity members have carefully stewarded street performance in Covent Garden for decades through the Street Performers Association.

In 2021, Westminster Council introduced a fee based licensing scheme for street performance in all areas, including Covent Garden. Since then Equity members have been in discussions with the Council about Covent Garden's unique role in Street Performance in London; but as a matter of principle the Street Performers Association have refused to participate in the licensing scheme.

Ian Manborde, Equity's Industrial Official for Street Performance, said “this is over-regulation on stilts. Westminster Council is forcing workers to pay to work, and putting a great British tradition at risk. Our members have carefully stewarded street performance in Covent Garden for decades. We don't believe there is any need for a licensing scheme in Covent Garden and we call on the Council to revoke it immediately.”

The petition stands at 5.6 thousand signatures and can be found here: https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/save-covent-garden-street-performers

Equity is the performing arts and entertainment trade union. It is made up of more than 47,000 performers and creative workers, united in the fight for fair terms and conditions in the workplace. We are actors, singers, dancers, designers, directors, stage managers, puppeteers, comedians, voice artists, and variety performers. 



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