by Brandon Summers | October 3, 2022
Sundays are my favorite day of the week and also my preferred day to busk. So I took to the streets yesterday, October 2, with the hope of playing some old tunes and working on some new ones. I haven’t street performed regularly in quite some time and wasn’t looking for the perfect pitch or a spot to rake in bucket loads of cash. What I was looking for was shade and a location close to my parked vehicle. In hindsight, maybe I should have gone with a bridge. I wasn’t looking to pick a fight with Park MGM security or LVMPD, but that’s what I got.
Thank goodness I had the foresight to charge and turn on my bodycam. The absurdity of hotel security trying to move me along (and trespass me) from the public sidewalk needed to be documented on video. It was about 3 pm and I settled at a location north of Park MGM and a minute walk from CVS. Within minutes, I was approached by Park MGM security immediately after finishing my first tune. I would say that the first employee to engage me was polite, and I carefully explained to him that I was not on their property line and that I had successfully won a lawsuit against Metro. Once I made it clear to him that I wasn’t moving along, two more security guards on bikes entered the fold. A large man with a gray goatee went through his speech about me being on private property. After I reiterated that I am well aware of the difference between public and private property, he recited Nevada’s trespass script to me.
“As a dully appointed representative of this property I hereby warn you you are trespassing upon this property as defined by Nevada revised statue 207.200. If you do not leave the premise immediately, you will be subject to arrest for misdemeanor. Your subsequent return to these premises after being dully warned not to return will subject you to immediate arrest for trespassing.”
I know they’re simply “doing they’re job”, but they were wrong— completely wrong. After I saw where this was going (nowhere), I let them know that they could call Metro and that I’m done talking. I wasn’t here to argue, debate, or fight. I was there to play and that’s what I decided to do. I hoped that would be the last of it, but a security officer who appeared to be higher in the chain of command came within feet of me. He snapped a picture of me with his cellphone and said something to the effect of “you’ve been trespassed from all MGM properties… step inside my property and I will detain you”. Again, all of this happened on a public sidewalk (*facepalm*).
Anyway, they moved on and I continued playing uninterrupted for about an hour. The police finally showed up and two officers told me that I was soliciting according to NRS (Nevada Revised Statutes). Ironically, officer #1 said “you’re not on their [Park MGM’s] property so I don’t know why they’re asking you to leave.” I would say that the exchange went better than the one with security, but I was admittedly somewhat combative by that point. Officer #1, G. Wolfanger did most of the talking. Wolfanger said they were going to let me go with a verbal warning. I responded by saying I wanted a ticket. They seemed somewhat confused and strongly opposed to that idea. I explained that I had been street performing for a long time and been through the cycle of court appearances and dropped tickets. The resolution for that day was to put my tip bucket away and I complied. Neither officer asked for my name or ID.
Coincidentally my best friend called me not to long after that incident. It was good to hear a familiar voice in that moment. I wasn’t discouraged by what happened but was probably teetering on the line of extreme frustration and anger. I stuck around for another 30 minutes and brought the bucket out again. I left just after 5pm because I needed to make a run at Town Square before The Container Store closed.
Brandon Summers is a Las Vegas native, violinist, street performer, and advocate for spontaneous, unlicensed performance in public spaces. Summers has been busking for over ten years and has performed for Ciroc, Hudson Jeans, Netflix, JBL-Harman and many more. He is a graduate of Fort Valley State University where he majored in mathematics and holds BA in liberal studies.
One thought on “MGM trespasses me from public property. Metro says I’m soliciting.”
Burger Vs. Seattle 9th Circuit Court has already settled this issue regarding Solicitation. In addition Pruneyard Decision from Campbell California, went on to the Supreme Court in favor of free speech and defines areas like MGM that are called PRIVATE PROPERTY as Public and Quasi-Public Property, therefore a conviction cannot lawfully be issued.