- City of Greenville, South Carolina | Division of Public Information and Events
- United States of America
Thank you to all those who signed for voicing your support for electric violin street performance. Our petition garnered 1782 signatures!
There are many facets involved with public performance. We remind all musicians to carefully follow local laws and ordinances regarding permitting and to always exercise good judgement and show respect for surrounding business owners and patrons when setting volume levels.
We also encourage cities and businesses to see the value that free street performance brings to downtown and shopping districts. Good performers can draw lots of interest and foot traffic as well as lend a general ambience of liveliness and culture. Making discriminating judgements against types of performance (for example, musical performances that require amplification) will exclude certain popular styles from being heard and lead to a homogenous, even boring vibe. Working with performers of all stripes and understanding that amplified instruments can easily be set to reasonable volumes will lead to diverse flavors and a more fun, patron-friendly atmosphere.
-Electric Violin Shop
Electric violinist Jeff Neil, of Synergy Violins, has entertained listeners in downtown Greenville, South Carolina for more than a year. Despite having performed with prior permission from the City, his recent renewal application for his street performance permit was denied. The reason, as stated by Greenville special events coordinator Victoria Cervantz: "The amplification rules for street performers is being tightly enforced and monitored...Electric guitars, electric violins, loop stations, background music for instruments, etc. are no longer being approved in order to fully abide by the ordinance as well as in response to noise complaints from visitors, residents and businesses.”
However, Chapter 36, Article V, Section 36–143(k) of the Greenville, South Carolina, Code of Ordinances* clearly states that while "all street performers in conducting street performance activities shall be subject to the city's noise ordinance...performances with sound amplification are excluded unless the city manager or the city manager's designee issuing permits determines that the amplification is necessary or proper for the musical or other sound component of a performance."
Amplification is necessary for the sound component of a solid body electric violin performance. Furthermore, Neil says that in the many times he has played, he has had only one noise complaint, and responded appropriately because he did not want to lose the chance to perform.**
Tell the City of Greenville and other cities that electric violin music is not noise by signing the petition below.