Street selling celebrity
Friday 6th February

I've been doing work in Central Library in St. Peter's Square today. It's one of the last libraries where I can do work in the Manchester region. Most libraries nowadays are for people who can't afford computers at home. When writing using a pen and paper or reading quality literature, it's no good having computer desks and people laughing out loud at jokes sent by email. Central library in St. Peter's Square has many areas to sit and study, as well as a café and toilets.

It's 4pm. I'm on the way back to the car and I notice a guy selling CD's in the street. His name is Elavi. We've spoken before a few months ago. He recognises me.
Elavi: "Hi, how's it going?"

Elavi is a musician who records and produces his own CD's. As well as selling them through HMV and on the internet, he sells them in the street.
Elavi: "Did you see the papers?"
Me: "Yes. About the street trading."
Elavi: "Yes. I was in court for standing in one place too long. The council were totally against me in court. They don't want anyone selling on the street in Manchester."
Me: "I noticed. They don't like benches, always want to keep everyone moving."
Elavi: "That's right."
Me: "When I visited Sheffield there was a nice big building with a Winter Garden. With plants and seats where people would have lunch and chat. Manchester's Winter Garden in the Arndale has no plants."
Elavi: "It's funny you should say that. I've been selling in Sheffield and they're ok with it. As long as I show my licence they don't bother."
Me: "Sheffield's a nice place. I was thinking of moving there, getting a flat. It's a community where you can go to bars and get to know regulars."

We talk a while.

Elavi: "In court they used CCTV evidence to show I was standing in one place too long. I was writing about this in my blog and they printed it off and used it against me. Saying I'm anti government because of what I wrote about the council."

Elavi has a street pedlars licence which allows him to sell in the street, standing in one place for no more than 20 minutes. To stay all day requires a special licence for a market stall.
The fine he received was £310.

Elavi: "All the coverage in newspapers I received has given a lot of publicity. Look. Lots of people are walking past recognising me.

As we stand here on Market Street with hundreds of shoppers, people are looking over and recognising him.

It's good Elavi has the ambition to get his music out there himself.

Summary and venue reviews: Friday 6th February

Central Library
Medium busy. Clientele: students, academics. Décor: 8/10.
Notes: A library with desks where people can study.
Central Library

Market Street
Busy. Clientele: shoppers.
Notes: A main shopping street in Manchester city centre.
Central Library

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© Alex Remizo