Honolulu airport prohibits playing musical instruments

wickedwahine11

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Wow, Led Kaapana was stopped from playing his guitar in the Honolulu airport. Apparently there is a state law prohibiting playing musical instruments at the airport. One I guess I have violated far too many times. Admittedly, I don't play loud enough for anyone else to hear, but Led Kaapana? People line up and pay to hear him play. I understand the intent was maybe to prohibit street musicians, but who is going to buy an airline ticket just to try to make change from passerbys?

http://khon2.com/2016/03/17/slack-key-guitar-legend-told-not-to-play-at-honolulu-airport/

Maybe someone complained but shoot I would have been thrilled to see him playing at my gate.
 

mm stan

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Lets see what our esteemed gov does, last time he was against Maunakea and the hawaiian culture and people.
I also think the law was poorly written to keep out buskers and riff raff. It should be looked again and rewritten to
Accommodate and promote Aloha in hawaii airports if approved and free. Im thinking they should be more specific
On the type of music played too, just easy listening music and no rock or rap.
 
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anthonyg

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I'm not really sure of the reason but I suspect its more to do with officials wanting travellers to take the Airport seriously, listen for announcements and be at their gates on time and there would be security concerns as well. I wouldn't think that it has anything to do with busking.

I think that irate passengers claiming that they didn't hear their boarding calls would be the most likely issue.

Clash of cultures really.

Anthony
 

mm stan

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Another possibility may be that the store or food establishments would complsin that the tourist may be spending time listening to the music
And not patronizing their stores. All you need is one complaint from
A store owner or manager..
 

NatalieS

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I'm not really sure of the reason but I suspect its more to do with officials wanting travellers to take the Airport seriously, listen for announcements and be at their gates on time and there would be security concerns as well. I wouldn't think that it has anything to do with busking.

I think that irate passengers claiming that they didn't hear their boarding calls would be the most likely issue.

Clash of cultures really.

Anthony

I feel like this is the reason. And musical instruments range from pleasant instruments like the guitar and uke all the way to ones that are way more intrusive like the drums, amplified electric guitar, and trumpet. I can honestly see why this rule is in place, but it's very sad that Led (who makes the sweetest of music) was who they called out for playing. :-(
 

bonesoup

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There should be an exception for professional musicians like Uncle Led. Lame!
 

70sSanO

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While I think it is stupid, I'd love to hear that at an airport, I did read some of the comments on the link. Some of them do have a bit of logic behind them. Unfortunately in our society if one is allowed then everyone is allowed. This also means rapping, percussion and anything else that passes for music. Someone also mentioned the Hare Krishna music and begging during the 70's, which has now been banned at airports. On the flip side, someone also mentioned that in Kona, there are paid musicians in the airport.

The actual solution to this particular instance, at least for Hawaii, is pretty easy to regulate. I believe that it is possible for the state to regulate that the music be limited to traditional Hawaiian music as it promotes tourism for the state. If necessary, it could also issue permits if that is necessary.

As for me, I have played my ukulele while killing time in the airport, but I'm in my little corner of the world and not strolling the walkways. I could see where someone might not appreciate a 4 piece bluegrass group doing a rousing rendition of Soldiers Joy if that person is trying get a little sleep.

John
 
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Twibbly

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There should be an exception for professional musicians like Uncle Led. Lame!

The problem is, how do you define professional musician then? Is it somebody who gets paid to play? Is it somebody who has produced music for sale, with a certain number sold ('cause I can have music up for sale on a website pretty quickly...but that doesn't mean anybody would buy it!)?
 

Tele295

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At the Lihue ariport (Kauai), they pay professional musicians to play live Hawaiian music in the terminals, and they have semi-permanent PA's for them. I respectfully kept my uke in it's case. I wouldn't want some yay-hoo busting in on my gig for an uninvited jam.

DSC02537.jpg
 

NatalieS

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Interesting replies here. It seems like we've distinguished that some types of music are worse than others, and that's probably why the no playing rule was put in place at airports. If this is the case, I wish they could change the law from "playing musical instruments" to something more general like "being disruptive". If someone is being disruptive and gets complained about-- then yeah it makes sense that they are asked to stop. But outlawing all musical instruments especially harmless ones like ukulele and guitar seems to be really excessive.
 

Moore Bettah Ukuleles

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Wow, Led Kaapana was stopped from playing his guitar in the Honolulu airport. Apparently there is a state law prohibiting playing musical instruments at the airport. One I guess I have violated far too many times. Admittedly, I don't play loud enough for anyone else to hear, but Led Kaapana? People line up and pay to hear him play. I understand the intent was maybe to prohibit street musicians, but who is going to buy an airline ticket just to try to make change from passerbys?

http://khon2.com/2016/03/17/slack-key-guitar-legend-told-not-to-play-at-honolulu-airport/

Maybe someone complained but shoot I would have been thrilled to see him playing at my gate.

The intention of the law was to keep out the Hare Krishnas. When you get a group of twenty of them with their drums and finger cymbals they were a real nuisance.
 

Steveperrywriter

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Seems as if a law could be crafted that would allow playing and stop disruption. Maybe use of a certain area like a courtesy lounge. Or acoustic-only with a decibel limit, like a noise ordinance? I have played my guitar and uke in. couple airports, nobody stopped me, and I don't have Led's chops.
 
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Rheab

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I just saw Led, George Kahumoku Jr and Jeff Peterson play here in northern California -- a lovely, lovely night filled with aloha and beautiful music. I read the news story and was sad that Led said he felt shame and was embarrassed that he was asked to stop playing. I understand there's a state law banning playing in public like that, but some discretion could have been used by the security guard.
 

Moore Bettah Ukuleles

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I just saw Led, George Kahumoku Jr and Jeff Peterson play here in northern California -- a lovely, lovely night filled with aloha and beautiful music. I read the news story and was sad that Led said he felt shame and was embarrassed that he was asked to stop playing. I understand there's a state law banning playing in public like that, but some discretion could have been used by the security guard.

I don't understand a law that bans playing music in public. That's not the world I want to live in. Some of the best music you'll ever hear is in the European subways. And it's free. It's eases the stress of travel, makes people happy and the world a better place.
 

mm stan

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In Nyc you get people busking with small amps too , in the streets and subways
As for the hare krisnahs, they used to be in waikiki giving w small flower for donations too harassing the locals as well as the tourists
 
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janeray1940

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There's a huge difference between a boisterous group of non-travellers such as the Hare Krishnas imposing their music on a captive audience of travellers, and a lone traveller passing the time before his or her flight by strumming a uke or guitar. I'm not familiar with the law (and I've broken the law with my uke at the Honolulu airport!) but I have a feeling that like so many things in our society, at least in the U.S., making a law one-size-fits-all is the only way to avoid discrimination lawsuits. I find this pretty sad.
 

kkimura

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Maybe write the law so if you have a ticket to fly and are only using carry-on instrument, you can play?
 

Rllink

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I have some mixed feelings. I like buskers, and I have done some busking myself. But I don't like to be forced into listening to someone's music, whether they are just listening to it, or if they are playing it themselves. Because the airport is what we are talking about, I will use that as an example. If there is something going on between gates, or in some corridor, great. I can walk by if I want, or I can stop and listen. But if I'm sitting at my gate, waiting for my plane, sometimes I just don't feel like listening to someone else's music, or listen to someone recite poetry, or whatever. I guess that I feel like it is okay if people can get away if they don't want to listen. But when you have a captive audience, just because no one tells you to STFU, it doesn't mean that they are all enjoying it. Anyway, as much as I like to play my ukulele and to busk, I won't indulge myself on a captive audience. In this case, I don't know what this guy's circumstances were. I don't know what prompted them to ask him to quit. I wish that I did, then I could have some sort of opinion.
 

UkingViking

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Doesn't all such buildings, including train stations, have a strict policy on performing music without a permit?

If I had to listen to someone's music in the already noisy reverberant buildings, where I have to wait and not just walk by, it would be a great nuisance. Jet lagged and all.

"Busking" in pedestrian streets can create a nice atmosphere, but that is someone else.

That being said, if you are quietly picking your uke in the corner where hardly anyone can hear you, that is not a performance.