Earlier this week, videos began to circulate on social media of two accordion players playing ‘Despacito’ aboard TTC subway trains throughout the city.
The performances seem to have mixed reactions, with some commuters applauding the musicians, while others say the impromptu performance disrupted their TTC ride.
— Jose Taboada (@taboada93) April 17, 2018
One transit rider tweeted, “I’m getting a little tired of this Despacito accordion player riding the subway. Nothing fails to sour me faster.”
— Jack (@JackCox) April 17, 2018
While another tweeted, “Thank you accordion man on the subway for making this rainy commute home a little more entertaining.”
Thank you accordion man on the subway for making this rainy commute home a little more entertaining. Also, all in favour of making #Despacito the official song of the #TTC 🙋🏻♀️? #ILoveToronto pic.twitter.com/h4OsNskqwm
— Alejandra Ortiz (@0rtizAle) April 3, 2018
Daily Hive spoke with TTC spokesperson Stuart Green, who said the two accordion players have since been issued warnings from transit enforcement officers.
The main concern with the accordion playing is that busking is only permitted by licensed buskers who are located near a subway station. Neither of the accordion players is licensed.
Another reason behind the warning is the noise.
Green said TTC riders want a peaceful ride, free from noise and that one of the biggest complaints the TTC receives is people playing loud music without headphones.
So you can see why the accordion playing could raise concern.
The two men have already been issued two warnings from transit enforcement officers and Green says they’ve complied.
However, if the men are spotted again, they could be fined.
Green also added that the men could audition for the TTC subway musicians’ program, which is currently taking place.
“They are more than welcome to audition,” says Green.
Up for grabs are 90 three-year TTC licenses for the subway musicians program “Underground Sounds.”
New this year, auditions are being conducted online and the public is able to cast votes for their favourite artists.