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Busking

TS 26 May 05 - 01:59 PM
breezy 26 May 05 - 02:15 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 May 05 - 02:21 PM
PoppaGator 26 May 05 - 02:40 PM
Mooh 26 May 05 - 02:59 PM
TS 26 May 05 - 03:16 PM
alanabit 26 May 05 - 05:06 PM
GUEST 26 May 05 - 05:10 PM
Chris Green 26 May 05 - 06:28 PM
Gypsy 26 May 05 - 10:01 PM
Mappa Mundi 27 May 05 - 10:53 AM
TS 02 Jun 05 - 11:41 AM
GUEST 02 Jun 05 - 05:53 PM
Gypsy 02 Jun 05 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,bugger this for a job 03 Jun 05 - 12:49 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Jun 05 - 12:51 AM
GUEST 03 Jun 05 - 12:51 AM
Amos 30 Mar 06 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Jim 30 Mar 06 - 02:15 PM
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Subject: Busking
From: TS
Date: 26 May 05 - 01:59 PM

OK Catters...I'm a professional Musician..have been for a good few years now..about ten..not that long really..anyway...always got paid for my gigs..I am about to venture to uncharted worlds..perform at a Fringe Festival in which performers "pass the hat". Its organized and all, but it's a busking atmosphere. How do I do it? I've never had to encourage people to py me before...assistance oh wise ones...


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: breezy
Date: 26 May 05 - 02:15 PM

suppose you'll find your true worth!

If everyones doing it pickings may be slim.

Will you be entertaining? Musically and visual, will you have patter, will you hold an audience?

As a pro you will probably do O K

Good luck nd grovel politely!

let us know how it goes.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 May 05 - 02:21 PM

Breezy's got it right IMO. what works for a concert pro will work when busking, with the proviso that, in this case, they don't HAVE to pay you. Keep the patter going, and make them WANT to do so.

Very best of luck, and show the others what you're made of
Don T.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 May 05 - 02:40 PM

It would be rude ~ and decidedly not entertaining ~ to make too much of the fact that you're asking for money, but it's entirely OK to drop a few good-humored remarks reminding the folks that you and your fellow performers are all depending upon your listeners to express their appreciation in the form of tips.

I have no idea what goes on in the UK at a "Fringe Festival," never having experienced one, so I can't offer much more specific advice. I would hope that the event organizers provide some sort of system, at least putting out a tip jar or some such container and maybe even circulating through the crowd with the "collection plate" at the conclusion of each performer's set. (You might have a friend perform this service for you; people who might not pony up otherwise will often respond with a small remittance when confronted directly. An attractive and good-natured female friend would probably be the most effective...)

If no one else does anything for you, though, you'll need to do your own begging, within the boundaries of good taste (whatever they might be). You cannot be afraid to ask at all, just don't repeat yourself to the point of being obnoxious ~ like breezy just said, "grovel politely"!

If you have a choice in the matter, try not to be the first performer; that way, you'll be able to observe how others (hopefully more expereinced with this situation) handle the situation.

My qualifications for offering advice? Many years ago (appx 1970-72) I was a full-time busker, singing on the streetcorners of New Orleans (winter) and San Francisco (summer). I never did progress to regular indoor musical employment, and don't even have much experience playing for tips inside venues like bars/pubs/clubs. I kept a sign pinned to the inside of my guitar-case lid saying "I'm Only In It For The Money." I think most passersby appreciated that I was being ironic, but whether or not they caught all the subtleties of my message, I tried to make sure that everyone could see that I was playing for tips.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: Mooh
Date: 26 May 05 - 02:59 PM

Did you search Mudcatville first? There're tons of discussions about busking already. Happy reading, and good luck!

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: TS
Date: 26 May 05 - 03:16 PM

Its rather organized...we pay a flat fee of $125 (Cdn) and it allows us up to 20 hrs of performing over the course of a weekend. There are several specific street stage locations we can use. Each show is not to exceed 30mins. The challenge is being sure to make more than $125 in "donations" in 20 hrs...and MUCH more than that to compare to a normal gig. On the plus side...the warm summer sun and sceness might prove a bit of payment..so i might end up being one of those.." not alot of money but Damn did we have fun" gigs...


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: alanabit
Date: 26 May 05 - 05:06 PM

I had a similar experience two years back, when my old harmony trio reunited to play a street festival. I am a very experienced busker, but my colleagues, both excellent musicians and harmony singers, had never performed shows on the street before. We managed to convert an indoor act into a street act by the end of the festival, but it did take us all three days.
Don's comment about making them want to pay is some of the best advice you can offer any aspiring busker. I use a lot of money lines - but I do it with a smile. Effectively, the comedy in my show is all built on two ideas. One is that I am not really supposed to be there and the other is that I desperately need more money. The basic principles of entertaining indoors apply outside too, but you have to remember that background noise and other distractions can be far greater. If you are visual, positive and spontaneous, people will warm to you. Good luck. Come back and tell us about it, will you?


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 05 - 05:10 PM

Nothing to add except that if you have CDs to sell, plug 'em! If you pass a hat around, people can often be reticent, but if you're selling some of your material that they can take away with them they're liable to be a bit more forthcoming.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: Chris Green
Date: 26 May 05 - 06:28 PM

Bugger, sorry, that was me above. A victim of the cookie monster...


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: Gypsy
Date: 26 May 05 - 10:01 PM

Youch! that's a heckuva fee, for 20 hours. Salt yer box, with the bills you would like to recieve. Low denomination bills result in low denomination tips.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: Mappa Mundi
Date: 27 May 05 - 10:53 AM

Look happy and enjoy your music (or whatever your act is).

Try to keep "up" tempo - cheerful patter, a well seeded instrument case or whatever. Some people take pleasure in trying to get a coin into your case/box from a distance - put your coat or jumper over to stop the dosh from bouncing off - I once actually drew a target on a piece of paper and sellotaped it to the open lid of me case, and it worked a treat! DON'T upset drunks, youths or half wits, a pleasant but firm "i'm trying to earn a crust" seems to work - though not always.

Best of luck.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: TS
Date: 02 Jun 05 - 11:41 AM

ell...I ended up backing out of the opportunity. The registration costs were a bit much in my eye ($125 CDN + tax). Also, the location is about 70km away from me and the event is a week long. The band would only be able to attend the weekend, and travel the 140km/day. So..I guess essentially I chickened out..haha...


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jun 05 - 05:53 PM

Sounds like a good gig NOT to take. Having to pay to play is usually not a good sign, and busking can sometimes be slim pickings!


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: Gypsy
Date: 02 Jun 05 - 10:46 PM

yessssssssss..........that is a pretty big amount to pay for privilege of playing. Hard enough when you don't make much with busking, even harding to pay to perform.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: GUEST,bugger this for a job
Date: 03 Jun 05 - 12:49 AM

sounds like the economics of strip and pole dance clubs..

the girls have no choice but to pay the club owners for the
'privilage' of working free-lance in the clubs..


hope this dont become the norm for musicians now


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Jun 05 - 12:51 AM

Slim Pickings made a lot of records though.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jun 05 - 12:51 AM

Make sure you supply the condom - so you know its quality, before rupture.


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 12:37 PM

The Strines are going to town on the question of whether Buskers should be QA'd before licenses are issued:

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/03/29/1143441216028.html.

A


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Subject: RE: Busking
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 02:15 PM

Our local downtown merchants and the local "Friends Of Music" association used to combine to seed our case with $100 if we promised to play for 2 hours in the location we were assigned. They also provided us with a sandwich board to give us some legitemacy (sp?). The next year it dropped to $50, and after that we got the sandwich board.
I found that a guitar, no matter how well it was played, wasn't too effective at attracting attention. When I switched to an autoharp, it was different enough to interest people. I put a sign in the top of my case that said,"Broken String Fund - Visa or Mastercard cheerfully accepted". A lot of folks chuckled at the sign and I never had anyone ask me to accept Visa or Mastercard.
I also kept a playlist taped to the back of the Autoharp and put a small dot beside the tunes that seemed to earn me the most $. Since no one ever stayed around for more than 4 or 5 songs, it was all right to repeat songs.


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