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Dutch shopping centre bans busker for playing song repeatedly

A ten-year-old boy has been banned from busking at a Dutch shopping centre after playing Frere Jacques ‘120 times an hour’ on his recorder.

One local business owner said that Regilio Karthaus was ‘driving her round the bend’ by constantly playing the song, and complained to Enkhuizen authorities and the police about the noise.

The boy’s father – Marciano Karthaus – told told NH Nieuws that his son came home crying after being sent home by town wardens from the Westerstraat shopping centre where he had been playing to earn pocket money. 

‘People living in the area complained and the local council sent round the wardens,’ Marciano said. ‘He was told to leave immediately.’ 

Enkhuizen’s by-laws permit buskers, but Marciano said that his son was told he can only play if he moves every 15 minutes. ‘What’s the world coming to?’ he said.

The owner of the store outside which Regilio had been playing said he did not mind the boy busking outside, saying that it does not bother him.

‘I know that some retailers are bothered by it, but I only see a little boy who wants to earn some money. You should encourage that,’ said Asad Radmanesh.

‘He always comes in for a chat and tells him that he has bought a present for his brother or sister. I see no harm in it.’

However, the owner of a woman’s clothing shop on Westerstraat feels differently.

‘I really am not a child hater, I have nine grandchildren myself, but it drives me crazy,’ she said, but chose to remain anonymous.

The entrepreneur filed a complaint with local authorities last week and hopes for a solution.

‘He plays the same song all day and does it for the money. If you have a passion for music then you are going to practice several songs?’

‘I hear ‘Father Jacob’ one hundred and twenty times in an hour,’ the shopkeeper said to NH Nieuws. ‘At some point you can no longer shut yourself off and then you really won’t hear anything else. I often sit in the back of my office, otherwise I will go crazy.’

She added that she hopes the boy can continue to play in different locations on the Westerstraat.

Dorothea Teunissen, a local council spokesperson, said that they had recieved several complaints from local residents, but acknowledged that Regilio could not be banned from playing. 

‘Our basic rule is that people can make music, but they should be mindful of others,’ she said, adding that while playing music is allowed, others should be taken into account.

Marciano Karthaus now wants his son to be given written permission from the council to give him permission to play without fear of being turned away.

‘Shopkeepers have sent him away more often, but this is allowed,’ he said. ‘I always say to him: just say that you can stand here. Now I want to have that first on paper from the municipality, then he can show that when people complain.’    

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