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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
DHonemanband Street Musicians, Buskers? (94* d) RE: Street Musicians, Buskers? 21 Dec 10

Lots of great and interesting thoughts/ideas/discussion in this thread! Also a very long running thread.

Might as well throw in my own bit here...
I've been a busker since 1977 in Victoria BC. I make my living almost exclusively from it. Victoria is a tourist town so there are always new people arriving; good turnover helps buskers. Over the years there have been many changes in rules and licensing but it remains a basically busker friendly environment. I've done the full group thing (up to nine piece) but mostly I like being a one man band, which is a popular busking format. I've had a hand at folk/rock (Neil/Dylan etc), Celtic (I play fiddle & mandolin too), country, bluegrass, rock, swing but mostly use blues as my basic style now. I've found that all styles attract some portion of the populace but for me blues gets me going the most, which translates into an audience and remuneration. I mix in other genres as I feel and take a few requests (having a large repertoire can be a big plus). I love what I do and I think people pick up on that.

We are about to experience Victoria's second crack at a Busker Festival this coming summer. It was tried in the 90's and failed (bad weather, overinflated budget). I have to agree somewhat about the issues of playing for free at a Festival. I play the odd Folk Festival and am always well paid. Why should a Busker Festival be so different? The organizers promote the idea that thousands will flood the city to support the buskers. This is obviously not quite the case. The local buskers here aren't being invited; we are expected to be in support but aren't included. Having said that, I wouldn't want to be a part of something for free anyway. I only hope it won't negatively impact on my livelihood (of course it is being put on during peak season). We'll see I guess...

Well, no real big illuminating thoughts there, just wanted to post in this great thread!

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