The Times They Are A-Changin’ at Fremont Street Experience

June 13, 2014

If you notice some dramatic changes at Fremont Street Experience during your next visit, there’s a reason.

Fremont Street Experience has partnered with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, the Las Vegas City Council and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to devote significant resources to cleaning up Fremont Street in a big way.

 

Fremont Street Experience

About 17 million people a year visit Fremont Street Experience.

 

In recent months, guests may have noted a rise in bad busker behavior, vagrancy and other elements that can sometimes leave a negative impression of an otherwise vibrant, fun Las Vegas destination. (Buskers, by the way, are costumed characters or performers who offer to take photos with guests, often implying tips are required. They’re not.)

An increased presence by our friends at Metro has transformed the atmosphere on Fremont Street dramatically, virtually overnight. We’re happy to report Fremont Street Experience is returning to a place where guests can enjoy themselves without undue congestion, aggressive panhandling and over-the-top, often jerry-rigged amplification systems.

We want to thank our friends at the City Council and Metro for their commitment to ensuring Fremont Street Experience remains a place where visitors around the world gather to have the time of their lives.

To learn more about the recent developments at Fremont Street Experience, you can view video of the news conference announcing the effort.

There’s been lots of new coverage about the latest developments, so feel free to dive in.

We’d love to hear what you think about the recent changes at Fremont Street Experience in our comments section.

24 Responses

  1. Linda says:

    My husband an I were recently on Freemont Street and my husband was tapped on the shoulder by a Busker requesting money after I had taken their picture . I didn’t know that we didn’t have to give them a tip , just if we wanted to . I know that they were not supposed to touch us . I really enjoyed The Freemont street Experience . We have a favorite performer , Scarlet and Max , they were the BEST !!!!!!! Jim & Linda Brazier

    • Thomas says:

      Wow lady! Do you think these costumed Buskers are there for free? They are there downtown trying to make a living just like anyone else and you taking their picture and not even giving them a dollar for the funny or cute photo-op is pretty CHEAP on your part.

      • dr. Baf says:

        Buskers is too kind to call them, I visited Fremont street last night 06-06-15 some of these people were disgusting in their appearance. Fremont street has turned into a carnival freak show. I always used to take out of town visitors to Fremont Street, now I would be ashamed. Once upon a time people wouldn’t cross Las Vegas Blvd as it was a no man’s on a walk to the El Cortez. Now that area has prospered and may soon be the jewel of downtown. When Oscar Goodman was mayor he had a vision for Fremont Street and it really came to be a delight, now I suggest that Mayor Carolyn Goodman take her family to Fremont Street, this will never happen.

        • sroeben says:

          The City Council is spearheading the institution of changes that could address the issues you’re talking about (we’re concerned about them as well, obviously).

        • Leon says:

          We were there also on 06-06-15 and couldn’t believe how disgusting some of the performers were. You basically had strippers out there with nothing but a G-string and pasties. Not a family environment at all. Not everyone wants to see naked women. There are some “Show Girl” performers that were tastefully dressed but, most of the others are out there just for shock value and it takes away for the “Freemont Experience”, which can be very entertaining. I would don’t want to go back there. I would rather spend my money down on the Strip. Too bad for the businesses out on Freemont Street.

          • sroeben says:

            Thanks for letting us hear your thoughts, Leon. We should probably clarify that Fremont Street Experience has nothing to do with the “performers” you’re talking about. The street is a public place, and buskers are legally allowed to be there. Fremont Street Experience doesn’t hire or screen the performers, except those on our stages. We have many of the same concerns you mention, but ordinances are created by our City Council, and we’re always working with them to try and create a fun, enjoyable environment on Fremont Street. We appreciate hearing from our guests, of course, and thanks for visiting our site.

  2. Julie says:

    I have been reading about all of this..will be there in a couple of weeks…thank goodness for the improvements…cannot wait to get there…thanks!!!!

  3. Janet DiViscour says:

    I am glad to see that Fremont St. is being “cleaned up”. I live in Las Vegas and love to go hear Tyler James perform on Fremont. The street performers should not be allowed to show their bare breasts as the pirate and nuns have done. I do wish that the strip would be free of the naked lady cards all over the streets. What a nasty impression that leaves to visitors. Why are paying for new holders for the flyers and magazines because they look old and run down? Why not just discontinue the smut and get rid of the boxes? I have lived here a year and a half and it is not getting any better. Thanks for listening.

  4. Jenn says:

    Hi. I LOVE Vegas and visit every summer and I love taking pics with the characters!! I hope they arent all removed from Freemont! They make my trips fun.

  5. Dorothy Browne says:

    Hi, just returned from a wonderful trip to Vegas. Stayed at the Golden Nugget, which is always a delight. We were constantly harassed by some guy handing out samples of lotion ( believe it was Allure ) I got so angry after asking me 3 times to take the sample, I yelled at the guy, leave me alone.

  6. Philip says:

    Several yrs. ago I was comfortable when my wife walked FREEMONT STREET day or night by herself. Now she would rather have someone with her even in the daytime. Panhandlers AND street performers APPROACH US for money.
    Also probably not a good place for young teens to hang out yet half the crowd seems to be under 21.

  7. David Miller says:

    THIS IS AWESOME !!! THIS IS GREAT TO HEAR !!! I VISIT VEGAS SEVERAL TIMES A YEAR , AND THE PAST 3 YEARS , MYSELF AND FAMILY AND FRIENDS HAVE SEEN A VERY NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE FREMONT EXPERIENCE TO THE POINT WHERE WE WOULD NOT GO THERE ANY MORE . ITS GREAT NEWS THE MAYOR AND CITY POLICE ARE GOING TO CLEAN UP THE NEGATIVE UNWANTING AND VERY ANNOYING NUISANCES THAT HAVE SET UP SHOP THERE !!! A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE MAYOR AND METRO POLICE FOR CLEANING UP FREMONT STREET !!!! LETS MAKE FREMONT STREET A FUN AND EXCITING PLACE AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!

  8. Sharon says:

    So pleased to hear a clean up is on the way. We stayed at the Golden Nugget from June 1st till June 12th and were very distressed to see the state that Fremont Street had gotten into. We have stayed there on 3 previous occasions because Fremont Street is so fun. On this occasion seeing so many people begging, hanging around in their underwear etc was just horrible and made Fremont Street a no go area for us. We felt imprisoned in the hotel and ended up getting taxis out of the area, rather than enjoy the entertainment on Fremont Street as we usually do. We had decided not to return next year, but may reconsider if the vagrants etc have been removed.

  9. Erin says:

    My husband and I stayed at the Plaza for the Labor Day weekend (8/30 – 9/01). While we usually enjoy the downtown casinos because they are less uptight and more fun than the Strip hotels, we didn’t enjoy Fremont Street. The noise level was atrocious for several bands, plus it was hard to weave through the crowds, avoid the kiosks hawking wares and not bump into diaper man, the obscene “yes, it’s real ladies” thong-wearing dude, or the two nuns wearing pasties.

    I appreciate the street musicians and artists, did enjoy a band playing by the “D” , but absolutely can’t stand these odd, creepy, barely costumed characters. We saw “Frozen” snowman hugging a child while “yes, it’s real” thong man was not too far away. The weird KISS standalone dude wearing a very tight thong and leggings with his bare butt hanging out was the last straw.

    This is becoming a creepy, unsafe, obscene area rife with exhibitionists and just weird people. I can take the fun, partying Vegas crowd, but not these hustling buskers.

  10. Dick Sicario says:

    they are going to try to clean up Fremont Street ?
    Good luck
    Fremont Street is where the WIERD turn PRO in downtown Vegas.
    If you Take pictures with any of the dressed characters give them a buck or two, your in Vegas Baby, you can be a cheap jerk back home.

  11. chuck says:

    hell yeah!!!! love fremont st. please all you prudes go back to the so safe steets of the Midwest or wherever you’re from and leave fremont the way it is. I live in florida and go to vegas at least once a yr. the bawdiness is the best part. please don’t make fremont family friendly. god damn it sucks so much for these asshole parents to parade their kids thru casinos and down fremont st.

  12. Sam says:

    The street performers add to the ‘color’ of Las Vegas and many are just out-of-work actors and stage performers doing their bit to entertain the tourists . . .

    Some (not all) are a bit tacky with near nudity but, the vast majority are pleasant, civil and a lot of fun . . .

    No, I never had my pic taken with any of them but, some friends, visiting Las Vegas, enjoyed taking pics with the costumed performers . . .

  13. Renea' Le Roux says:

    First let me introduce myself…my husband and I are the Pirates on Fremont Street experience and have been for the past 6 years. We are both extremely insulted at the way we are being portrayed. Street performance dates back to antiquity and one of those founding fathers councilman Coffin was referring to in his channel 3 interview last month was also a street performer, ever heard of Benjamin Franklin. And as to this taking no talent I must correct ignorant comments once more…100% of our elaborate historical clothing wardrobe is designed and created by us, my husband handcrafts all hats and leather items and I make all of the clothing (we do not copy anyone all of our historical garments are our own form of creative art and not a costume) We wear a different outfit each time we street perform. We have both been in entertainment for years being seen in tv, film, stage, travel websites as well as local publications both here in the USA and internationally. We have a HUGE following both international and domestic that visit us every time they are here in Las Vegas, we have patrons that collect photos of all our our AMAZING garments!! Everywhere we go here in Las Vegas we are recognized and we are both VERY PROUD to say YES we are the Pirates at Fremont Street. We are both street performers by choice and NO it is not just a “quick buck” we never ask anyone for a penny and we are both just as happy to refuse a photo to anyone being lewd or rude!! We both understand that there are those claiming to be entertainers that are not!!! Duck tape, pasties, jockstraps, panties, thongs, store bought costumes, lingerie etc. etc. does not make an entertainer, only hard work, practice and dedication can do that and WE REFUSE to be lumped in with the rest!!! For years we have reported open and gross lewdness and illegal activity to both Fremont Street security and Metro officers, and it all seems to fall upon deaf ears (just tonight we told a Metro officer of a man showing his genitals only to be ignored as usual) We will not tolerate being treated as derelicts and beggars because we are most definitely not!!! The Mayor and city council does need to address the real issues with nudity, harassment, and vulgar behavior, but you MAY NOT lump everyone together as we are citizens of this great country that our fore fathers died for, and they died to give us our FREEDOM! We will support what is right and just but above all we support the Constitution of the United States of America and practice our rights anywhere we choose and NOT in a performance zone!!!!!! You ALL MUST abide by the Constitution

    Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
    Thomas Jefferson

    We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    Thomas Jefferson

  14. Mannifred Yates says:

    Hello, let me introduce myself, I am the pirate that street performs on Fremont Street Experience with my wife. We are well versed in theater, television, and have also been in a couple of movies. We are listed on several travel websites and have been published in several local articles and magazines. We are by no means derelicts as certain people would have you believe. I must respond to the current ignorance and falsehoods circulating about the street performance situation on Fremont. I will start by saying this, we NEVER, and let me reiterate, we NEVER ask anyone for money. However we may receive money for our art, as protected under the constitution. If people choose to tip it is entirely and absolutely their choice. Furthermore let us not argue the fact that what we do is art. 100% of our extensive historical outfits (not costumes) are designed and made by us with our own hands. My beautiful wife sews with expert talent every stitch of amazing clothing we wear. I myself handcraft every leather piece worn. We both design and construct each elaborate hat as well. We have never received the outrageous amount of money claimed by some “street performers” and highly doubt it is possible without charging specific amounts, which is not protected under the constitution. The fact that street theater is being degraded in description as “making a quick buck” or making enough money to “grab a quick beer” or that we are all derelicts is more than insulting. This is a narrow and deliberate closed minded view and in my opinion a direct attack on street performance. How presumptuous of city councilman Bob Coffin or any of city council to assume knowing the minds of the forefathers in the matter of street performance, when in fact one of our forefathers…Benjamin Franklin practiced the art of street performance himself, one of the oldest known forms of entertainment, dating back to antiquity. So maybe we are to assume street performance was meant to be protected wholeheartedly without restriction. I may personally find what some people call or practice as art distasteful, but alas neither I nor city council has the right to judge what is art, and for that matter neither do the casinos. City council should have the interest of the people in mind not just the interest of big business casinos. As for the alcohol ordinances, lets not fool ourselves, those were put in place in the interest of the casinos and not the small business that helped Fremont become what it is today. It hurt the sales of small business on Fremont while designed to increase the alcohol sales for the casinos. This problem is simple and needs no new ordinance. Here are examples of what some “performers” are doing that is clearly not protected under the constitution. Harassment of pedestrians, which is clear and obvious when it happens and which I have personally seen metro actively ignore. Open and gross lewdness, this is self explanatory. Exchange of money for a sexual act, for example groping sexually a persons body for the exchange of a tip. Prostitution, yes there are prostitutes exchanging sexual favors while pretending to be street performers. These behaviors are obviously not street performance and are clearly not protected. These incidents have been reported in great detail to metro more times than I can recall, by my wife and I and others. There have been clear videos and pictures of these incidents, yet they fall on deaf ears to the point of complete negligence. Another example…my wife and I reported and showed a metro officer a “performer” showing his genitalia to passing pedestrians while he was in the act. What happened you ask? We were threatened and intimidated by this officer. This seems to be the normal practice by metro, to harass and intimidate those performers who are doing nothing wrong yet turn a blind eye to those that clearly are. This is extremely odd. It would seem that this is purposeful to portray a false picture of what is happening with street performance on Fremont by City Council and Metro police to portray us all as derelicts and a threat to public safety. They actively do nothing about what is clearly wrong and they have every authority to do so, with these issues. This is intentional. It is like a child throwing the chess board on the floor when they feel the game can not be won in a fair fashion. This is a school yard bully throwing their weight around. On any day you may walk down Fremont St. Experience and see nearly nude dancers on most casino outside bars .You may also find these VERY close to nude dancers on ALL of the Fremont stages at all different times of the day, not to mention the numerous posters and billboards of REALLY REALLY almost nude women. ( I would be happy to provide pictures so that no one may lie about it). Oh and here is the best part….. did I mention there is a strip club located on Fremont St. Experience?? This attack on street performance by City Council is malicious and hypocritical at best, and at worst completely unconstitutional. Let us not pretend that Fremont is Disneyland and designed for only family fun City Council for it is obvious this is not the case .As for the free speech zones I am very curious to see how this turns out constitutional, I have VERY serious doubts that it will be. Fremont st. Experience and Metro police have consistently shown that they can not handle these situations constitutionally , or for that matter legally, and have several lawsuits pending and have lost many in the past. I will end on this note.. If all else fails, selling the Fremont St. to purge all street performers from Fremont will most likely result in the complete degradation of Fremont st….. again. It will probably go back to the pimps, prostitutes and gang bangers. I’m pretty sure that will be a real threat to public safety,.. but like city councilman Bob Coffin said, Fremont has always been geared for a family experience, or some nonsense of that nature. Really? City council, lets face it a VERY big portion of tourism to Fremont come to see all of the “derelict” street performers. My wife and I are listed on several travel sites for Fremont to come and see. Off the top of my head I know France and Canada have us listed as a must see when coming to Fremont, but then again what do I know, According to city council my wife and I are no talent drunk derelicts harassing for quick money for a quick beer so that we can be a real danger to public safety. I leave you with a few quotes… We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
    Benjamin Franklin

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Benjamin Franklin

    Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
    Thomas Jefferson

  15. Adam D. says:

    Hi! Wondering if I need a permit to perform w/an acoustic guitar, small amp & mic on Fremont St.? Is it difficult to find a spot to play for a few hrs? Thanks for any insight! Also, if anyone has info on busking in other areas of Vegas, let me know. I love Vegas & would love to play!

    Thanks!

    • sroeben says:

      No permit is currently required, but we can’t help with the logistics of busking. You can probably get answers from the City of Las Vegas. They make and enforce all the ordinances related to street performing.

  16. Nancy says:

    My husband and I just returned from our stay in Downtown Las Vegas, and I can tell you nothing has changed. We like downtown and stay every few years, and each year it has gotten worse. The streets are full of “buskers”, nudity, homeless with signs asking for money, and the bands are so loud and competing because they are so close, that you can’t hear yourself think. The Freemont light show is also way to loud. We really like the casino’s, but don’t care to walk the street anymore. It is really disgusting.

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