Most people consider saxophonists, drummers, sitarists, tambourinists, guitarists and other musicians in a drum circle alongside the weekly Farmers Market to be an enjoyable aspect of the downtown Santa Cruz cultural mix, however some people interpret this musical gathering as a noisy disruption to their marketing experience.
Shortly after the November 2007 passage of a Santa Cruz law that makes it illegal to be in a parking lot or garage, unless you have a vehicle there (and then only for fifteen minutes), police officers began harassing people for playing music, sharing food and hanging out in the Cathcart Parking Lot during Farmers Market. The Cathcart Parking Lot, also called Lot No. 4, is located at the corner of Cedar Street and Cathcart Street in downtown Santa Cruz. People both inside and outside of cars have also reported surveillance and harassment by the police while they were in other parking lots.
With support from the Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra and others, musicians were able to bring the beat up a notch and maintain a drum circle during the Farmers Market on January 9th without any threats or citations from the police, despite their occasional presence.
For more information on the parking lot law and drum circles during the Santa Cruz Farmers Market, see:
‘Parking Lot Panic Law’ Used to Disperse Drummers in Santa Cruz
Crossposted at Indybay.org.