NOISY street entertainers are being told by city centre businesses to pipe down and play quieter instruments.
Four buskers, who have been playing on Eastgate Street in the centre of Chester, have been annoying workers in the surrounding shops by repeatedly playing the same song at an ear-splitting volume.
Lisa Doggon, who works in a nearby call centre in Chester, said: “It’s driving us mad because it’s just the same song over and over again.
“Even on our answer phone message you can hear them in the background. It makes it so hard to hear callers when they’re playing.”
Marie Lloyd, who works in the same call centre, added: “They said they would start playing quieter instruments like a guitar but they’re still turning up with their trumpets which are so loud.
“We’ve been told they’re only allowed to stay for two hours but they will be playing for four or five hours sometimes until we have to tell them to move to a different spot.”
A number of other businesses on the busy shopping street agreed that the buskers are becoming a nuisance and possibly driving some customers away.
Kevin McCauley, who works in the Eastgate Street branch of Carphone Warehouse, said: “Sometimes people come in saying how nice it must be for us to hear live music but it’s not nice when you can’t hear what customers are saying and hear the same song all day.
“We have to shut the door sometimes because it’s been so loud but then people think we’re closed so we lose trade.”
Manager of the Phones 4 U store, Lee Percival, said: “It’s definitely putting people off.
“We have to have our own music playing in the store and that, alongside all the noise outside, makes it very difficult for us to talk to customers.”
A spokesman from Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “Street performers attract a lot of visitors and are a big part of the vibrancy of the city centre.
“Buskers do not need a licence to perform on the streets in Chester but there is a code of conduct for them to follow.
“This includes musical entertainment only taking place for no more than a hour in the same spot.
“If anyone does have a complaint they should get in touch with us so we can look into it.”