Baku to handpick and give green light to ‘legitimate’ street artists
Street artists will be allowed to perform in the center of Baku, but only if the government approves of their work.
Into the urban spotlight – but first through casting
The State Agency for Tourism came up with the project with the aim of offering tourists more entertainment downtown.
Musicians, artists, artists, dancers and other artists who wish to perform on the street must pass a special selection process.
Those selected will receive official permission to perform in the city center from the Baku Tourist Information Center, writes Report.
So far, it is not clear what the criteria will be by which street performers will be selected.
Police chase, tourists pay
Now there are very few street performers in Baku.
Suleyman Kerimov and his musician friends tried several times to perform on the streets of Baku and said that after a maximum of half an hour the police always chased them away.
“But people reacted very well and generously paid,” he adds.
Suleyman says that street performers should, in fact, be ‘filtered’ – but he fears that in Azerbaijan, this process will result in mere censorship and a ban on everything that “does not correspond to the national mentality”.
Social media reaction
Facebook users have been critical of the initiative:
“What do they mean – selection? Where does this exist? Street artists should be ‘chosen’ and ‘evaluated’ by passers-by, not officials.”
“Now it’s impossible to walk around the city center!”
“I once saw police dragging two guys who just sang on the street and weren’t even collecting money.”
“Well, that’s it, now on every corner there will be these guys, with guitars, whining Turkish songs.”