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Street performers receive promising news

By Staff | Jun 5, 2019

Street performers are supposed to only work for tips and are not able to sell their art, and only eight permits are to be given out, according to a Fort Myers Beach Ordinance. New regulations would make it so street performers could not perform on the Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve, some of their most lucrative times.

Street performers are asking for changes to the ordinance, which is now being modified.

Michael Quinn, a street artist/street performer who has been doing this for the last decade on Fort Myers Beach spoke before Town Council.

“The people want artists and performers in the square,” Quinn. “In just three days, I was able to garner over 700 signatures.”

Quinn can often be seen in Times Square either with his sculptures or dressed as a skeleton pirate. His art is not sold but is on a donation only basis.

Quinn said that he worried with the new restrictions, he and other street performers/artists would be unable to make a living.

Noah Prechtel, a human statue, has been a street performer on Fort Myers Beach since he was a teenager. He addressed the council.

“To see that many people won’t have the opportunity to perform, really hurt me,” said Prechtel. “To reduce the number to eight permits seems unfair.”

Town Council said Monday that they will revise the modified street performer ordinance so that performers will be able to perform until sunset on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve and is open to giving out up to 15 permits.

In addition to this, council suggested that they grandfather in the street artists that have been on Fort Myers Beach for a while so that they are able to sell their art; this would still exclude others from selling their art.

There will be a second public hearing on the amended street performers ordinance at the next Town Council Meeting on Aug. 5.