Tourists like to enjoy New Orleans’ talent up close, but some business owners say the noise and crowds that street performers bring is hurting business.
"We've seen a loss of business because when these people are here they block the doorways,” said Terry Weidert, owner of Currents Jewelry. “They pay no attention the merchants."
Weidert’s store has been in the French Quarter for more than 25 years and he said the amount of performers in front of his store is more than ever.
"They're far above the decibel level, they block the sidewalks,” Weidert said. “They don't respect the merchants."
Mosag Ajbad has a business in the same block of Royal Street.
"As you can hear, we cannot operate a business down here because it's too loud in the store,” Ajbad said. “We have to shout, we have to turn the music up. It's hard to conduct business when they're
Ajbad said there are usually four or five shows a day, every day, which can run around an hour each. Meaning for five hours a day, he can’t hear his customers.
And if it’s not a band, Andrew Fields with MS Raul Antiques says it’s bucket drummers.
"It's actually deafening. Its louder than jet engines flying overhead or A subway passing,” Fields said. “It's difficult to have a conversation with your customers and employees when the performers are at full blast."
More than a dozen businesses in the block have signed petition saying they want action. They say they support street performers; they just want to see them move.
"We don't have a problem with these people performing over by the river walk where it's an open area and we're not opposed to street performers, but what's happening now has become totally out of hand,” Fields said.
The business owners we spoke with say they plan on meeting with NOPD Eight District officials in the coming week to discuss their complaints and hopefully find a solution.