Music News

Busker Handcuffed in Front of Store and No One Knows Why

Liv Gain was just trying to add a little music into the lives of people heading into a Giant Tiger store in Cambridge, Ontario. No one associated with the store seemed to mind her strumming and singing outside on the sidewalk. But for some reason, a cop showed up.

She was charged under the Ontario Safe Streets Act for soliciting “a person who is waiting at a taxi stand or a public transit stop.” Except that the nearest taxi stand or public transit stop was at least 100 metres away.

When Liv refused to give the cop her name, she was handcuffed and written up for a $65 fine.

Handcuffs. For busking.

Needless to say, there’s been something of an outcry over what appears to be a case of heavy-handed policing. Let’s see where this goes.

While we’re on the subject, here’s an interesting story on the economics of busking.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37921 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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