Street musicians can no longer use amplifiers in Brussels

Street musicians can no longer play music using amplifiers in Brussels.

In order to be able to play music on the streets of the Belgian capital, artists must now: (i) audition in front of a city council-approved jury; (ii) have graduated from an art school; and (iii) not allow the sound of their instruments to exceed 60 decibels, thus effectively ruling out the use of amplifiers when they play.

The use of amplifiers has been technically forbidden since January 1st, 2019. However, in response to numerous complaints – particularly from the tradesmen responsible for organising “Les Plaisirs d’Hiver” (“The Pleasures of Winter”) – the Brussels government has now decided to enforce the law more strictly.



“By prohibiting the use of amplifiers, we allow residents and traders to find some peace in their neighborhood,” said Delphine Houba, the senior member of the Brussels City Council responsible for cultural affairs.

This new law – and the news of its enforcement – has understandably not been well received by the street musicians’ community, who are now likely to attract fewer people to their performances and thus earn less money.