Extraordinary moment woman playing harp on high street is berated by passer-by who threatens to report her

The female harpist was interrupted by an angry passer-by as she played on the street in Harrow (X)
The female harpist was interrupted by an angry passer-by as she played on the street in Harrow (X)

A harpist busking on the streets of London endured a bizarre encounter when she came under fire from a furious bypasser who wrongly accused her of begging.

The street performer, who is known on TikTok as @Robyn.hearts.harp, was repeatedly asked if she had permission to be playing on the streets of Harrow, before the woman threatened to report her to the local council.

The strange interaction was filmed and has gone viral online, with the harpist heard calmly responding to the woman’s angry tirade while continuing to play George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’.

The woman, who is heard and not seen, accuses her of illegally begging and says: “I’ve never seen a beggar or anyone begging asking people to put it on their card.”

While carrying on with her music, the harpist patiently assures her that she isn’t begging, and payment by card or cash is only optional.

Despite this, the complaining woman persists and can be heard saying: “You have to ‘give tip for £2’, that is begging, don’t you know the difference? I’ll ask Harrow Council if you’ve got permission and then they can arrest you!”

In subtitles for the video, this has jokingly been changed to Karen Council.

Busking is permitted by Harrow Council in designated areas, with two-hour slots available for licensed musicians.

On social media, hundreds have jumped to the harpist’s defence, with one person writing: “It’s simply jealousy and envy. Sad really. Great to see lovely harp music on the streets and a nice musician nonplussed too bless her.”

Another wrote: “If the heckler wouldn’t heckle, we could all hear the music of a gifted harpist. It’s really difficult to play the harp. I’m sure the heckler was only jealous.”

Others criticised the heckler for being “miserable”, “mean-hearted” and “hateful”, for repeatedly interrupting the music.