Proposed legislation would limit downtown Cleveland street performers like ‘Sax Man’

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CLEVELAND-- Maurice Reedus is better known as the Sax Man.

For more than 17 years, he's played outside Playhouse Square and Cleveland sporting events.

But that might change, thanks to new legislation moving through city council that would limit the hours of street performers.

"It's ridiculous.  Why would you want to stop music at 10?  That's a prime time for musicians to come out and play," Reedus said.

"The proposal is 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the week, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekends," said Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack.

McCormack introduced the legislation from talking to people who live downtown after he took office about five months ago.

"They understand it's a bustling city and it's different than living in the countryside. But there's a basic expectation that if it's 11 p.m. on a Tuesday and they have to work in the morning, that there isn't an amplified guitar under their window," McCormack said.

Musicians performing along East 4th Street said the restrictions would hurt business.

"Most of the times, when you perform later it's because of a game," said Ghani, a street performer.

McCormack said the legislation is moving through the committee process. However, he is taking feedback from the public and fellow council members before presenting it for final approval.

"Street performers have a very positive quality to the city.  They add music, they add livelihood.  But the legislation and conversations we are having right now are about balancing that liveliness with the quality of life for downtown residents," McCormack said.

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