Buskers ordered to smile or pay fines

Buskers in a UK town have been ordered to smile while they're singing, or face a fine.

A new code of conduct - a Public Space Protection Order, intended to tackle anti-social behaviour - has been introduced in Oxford, which orders street entertainers to "smile, enjoy yourself and entertain others".

The penalty for any un-smiling busker could be up to £1,000 if the culprit is brought to court.

Professional busker Jonny Walker described is at "nonsense", adding in comments given to the Daily Telegraph that: "It creates an atmosphere of fear and control."

A demonstration in Oxford yesterday saw an army of performers putting on 'non-compliant' busking by ignoring the new code, even if meant scowling at passers-by.

A 10-year-old code of conduct asks Oxford's performers not to busk for more than one hour in the same place and not to come back to that spot for two hours.

They must also not ask for donations, and are banned from sitting on or wrapping themselves in a sleeping bag or blanket if this would give the impression they were beggars.

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