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Irmo residents want clarification on busking

One resident, Jenni Graham, tells News 19 she had a meeting with a town council member about defining the rules.

IRMO, S.C. — A few chords strummed on the guitar and a few notes creating a melody. It's something Irmo wants to hear more of. 

In other words, busking, also know as street performing through song or instrument, collecting donations. 

It's more commonly seen in downtown Columbia. 

"This is just something that I have a way to express myself and touch the hearts of others," Jenni Graham, singer and songwriter said.

Graham has lived in Irmo for the past seven years. She tells News 19 that music makes the world a better place and it's needed in times like now. 

"My little sister actually started busking in Greenville and so her busking career out there has really just been a boom and they really welcome that out there and I love going up and visiting her and seeing the culture that they have out there. So I really wanted to make that splash here in Irmo," Graham said.

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As of now, the town of Irmo doesn't have any rules for busking. 

In Columbia you need an annual or daily permit and you need to be at least 100 feet away from schools and hospitals between the hours of 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. 

In Lexington there's no specific rules about busking either, but playing an instrument or singing needs to be within the realm of this noise level table. 

"I've had experiences where I've just had a rough day or I've had to go through something that has been very hard and then I can come in contact with a person that is playing an instrument and singing and it's so angelic and it's so beautiful and those words resonate with me and touch me in a way that has changed my entire day and sometimes my entire outlook," Graham said.

Another local musician and music business owner, Marty Fort, explains he's all for well managed busking in Irmo.

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"I think it'd be really cool for Irmo Community Park to say okay, how about every Tuesday let's have a busking day and you can call in businesses like me, call in the other businesses all up and down this boulevard to sponsor busking night. Just open up the stage, let them come for four hours, no sign-up, no permit, no license," said Fort, the director of Irmo Music Academy. 

After all, a little back-ground soundtrack to life can bring connection to people and hope in hard times.

According to Graham, following a meeting with a local council member she's hoping the town will come up with some busking parameters soon. 

She explains ideally she would like to start busking in the beginning of October on a regular basis, when the weather starts to cool down. 

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