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Honolulu City Council proposes to quiet down Waikiki street performers

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waikiki street performers

Bill 43 proposes to prohibit performers in Waikiki from using any amplifying tool that projects sounds to at least 30 feet away from them.

HONOLULU (KITV4) -- With a microphone in hand, a shirtless Alejandro Garibay instructs a crowd of dozens surrounding him in front of an ABC Store in Waikiki Monday night to clap their hands.

Without hesitation, the spectators erupt with cheers and applause, to which Garibay springs into a handstand, spreading and closing his legs repeatedly to the rhythm of a hip-hop song blaring from a speaker behind him. 

Garibay has been break dancing along the streets of Waikiki for nearly 13 years. 

When asked to describe his performance group "United Pros," Garibday responded, "we basically bring people together and we dance for them."

"We do break dancing primarily, we do some acrobatics and we have a comedy show," Garibay added. 

United Pros' nightly show on Kalakaua Avenue could soon become a lot quieter, thanks to a measure Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters introduced earlier this month. 

Bill 43 proposes to prohibit performers in Waikiki from using any amplifying tool that projects sounds to at least 30 feet away from them. 

A state representative and resident of Waikiki, Adrian Tam experiences the noise firsthand. 

"People in Waikiki oftentimes associate the district as an entertainment district, full of street performers and live music. However, we're also forgetting that it is also a community and neighborhood," Tam said.

According to Tam, the performances typically begin at around 6 p.m. and go until 10 p.m., sometimes midnight.

Tam's constituents have sent him countless complaints over the past several months, annoyed over the noise. 

"Because it's amplified, the noise kind of bounces off the condominiums and buildings and makes its way into the residential parts of the neighborhood," Tam added. 

Each night, the United Pros aim to end their performances before 10 p.m. 

"There are people up here sleeping," Garibay acknowledge. "We're very considerate."

Garibay is not disgruntled over bill 43, adding nothing can stop him from doing what he loves.

"I been through this before, I'm 40 years old. I have been in other cities, other states where they passed a bill and we still performed," Garibay said. "I would just get a percussionist and we would just do the same thing. It might even be better."

The City Council advanced the bill to a second reading on Nov. 10. If the measure becomes an ordinance, violators could face a $100 fine for a first offense and $250 on the second.

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