Musicians, magicians and assorted entertainers who thrill the crowds outside Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market are outraged at management's decision to charge them annual fees as high as $2,500.
Jason Gardner, an escape artist who has performed at Faneuil Hall for more than a decade, calls the fee "a shakedown."
Artists point out they have to undergo auditions to win their license to perform publicly and they don't get paid by the city or marketplace management, relying entirely on tips from the public.
Marketplace management tells The Boston Globe that the fee, which takes effect next month, is needed to offset administration, promotion, and security costs.
A spokeswoman said via email that auditions have been postponed in light of concerns about the fees, which can be paid over five months.