A group of musicians has started a petition calling on Miami Beach commissioners to change street performance laws.
On Sundays around sunset, many people gather in South Pointe Park to mingle, do yoga, and play music.
“South Pointe has become this amazing community where people come together from 6:00 p.m. or so until sunset. There are people enjoying life. People doing yoga, stretching, salsa dancing,” said musician Michael Cantalupo.
On June 12, Miami Beach police handcuffed musician Jackson Strong, sparking a larger conversation about city ordinances and street performers.
Strong tells NBC6 that he was not arrested, but fined $150 for gambling without a license.
“The police do their job. I respect the officers. I don’t respect the laws they often choose to enforce and the laws need to change,” Jackson Strong said.
Fellow musician Michael Cantalupo then started an online petition and went to a commission meeting to voice his disagreement with the city ordinance.
The Miami Beach ordinance allows people to perform without a permit north of 24th Street.
South of 24th Street, a permit is required for 31 designated locations. South Pointe Park is not one of those places. Street performances are not permitted in South Pointe.
“I understand there’s a kind of need to regulate who can speak or understand that people are going to speak, but we need to do it in a much more streamlined way. In a way where I’m suggesting something like turning around 72 hours and adding more to the cap than just 31 people.
Commissioner Alex Fernandez met with Cantalupo and said this item would be on the agenda for the Miami Beach commission meeting on July 20.
“A 72-hour permitting process makes sense and it gives the city an idea of who’s happening, so it’s not just total chaos, but you’re walking through South Beach and there’s tons of loud music playing. coming out of people’s cars with lyrics that are obscene,” Strong said.