Musicians fined for performing in areas of Central Park

June 5, 2011 6:08:34 PM PDT
There is a controversy brewing in Central Park after the city banished musicians from playing in several newly designated 'quiet zones.'

Is silence golden? In this case, artists and lawyers are arguing no.

Last month, the city designated 8 hot spots in Central Park as quiet zones, meaning no more music, no Bach, Beethovan or Beatles.

Strawberry Fields, dedicated to John Lennon is now a quiet zone. The irony is not lost on New Yorkers that you can't even sing in the very place named after a song.

At the Bethesda Fountains, the arches have long been a favorite of musicians who love the acoustics.

John Boyd, a classical singer has been ticketed repeatedly for putting on open air concerts. "Most of the summonses are for singing," said Boyd.

Eyewitness News is told fines can run as high as several hundred dollars. Cynics wonder if it's just another way for the city to bleed residents dry or if it really is about noise pollution.

Civil rights lawyers hope to meet with the parks department tomorrow to see if they can find some happy middle ground.