Trouble is brewing in Riverdale! A war of words broke out between Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead in the show, and a busker known as Babe Coal while Riverdale was shooting on location in Vancouver on Wednesday.

Riverdale was trying to film at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but they were interrupted by Coal as she was performing on Robson Street, just outside. Sprouse asked her to turn her set off for an hour, and in turn Coal demanded compensation.

Police arrived on the scene, but no arrests were made.

Some background here. Babe Coal is a regular busker on Robson street. For most of Vancouver you need a busking license, but not on Robson Street. So she was perfectly in her rights to be busking at that location.

But there are some details and context that we don’t have from the above video. While you are able to busk in that area, you can’t perform on Robson after 10 pm. We don’t know what time the video was filmed, just that it was at night and the sun appears to be completely down. Sunset around this time of year is at approx. 9:20 so chances are Coal would’ve needed to pack up soon anyways.

The microphone the busker is using is a contributing factor that doesn’t help her argument. According to the City of Vancouver website regarding busking rules, these are the guidelines when it comes to voice amplification:

    • Voice amplification is not allowed, although we give case-by-case consideration to rap music performers.
    • Battery-operated amplification can only be used for instruments that need an amp to be heard (when you apply for your permit, we ask you to describe your instrument or accessory to be amplified).
      • For example, an acoustic guitar does not need amplification to be heard.
    • Amplification is only allowed for the instrument identified on the permit.
    • Performances using amplification must be in a location that will not disturb others. Performers must respect the wishes and concerns of others.
    • The volume must be kept to a reasonable level, under 70 db and intended for an audience within 10 m, within the guidelines set by the Noise Control Bylaw.

From the angle of the video, we can’t see if the microphone is intended for her instrument and she’s simply speaking into it to be heard. Or, if she’s using a microphone to sing into, which according to the above guidelines is not allowed.


Coal has been tweeting about the incident but apparently has declined giving a statement to the media about her side of the story.


Sprouse is heard calling Coal a “scam artist,” in the video. He mentions how filming works in Vancouver. He’s right, they give a location to the city to film. However they cannot control what happens outside of their filming location.

The fight then went to Twitter, as most do now. Sprouse is seen breaking Coal’s CD

The CD came from a fan, which Coal claims was stolen.

Not proof, there’s no receipt or anything. Coal took to Twitter to share her side of everything. It goes for a while, but there are a couple gems in there

So a bit of a tiff. Coal ended up finishing her set, and Riverdale will have to try and re shoot the scene at a later date.


Filed under: busker, Riverdale, Vancouver