So You Think You Can… Busk?

Express yourself musically at a Capital Metro transit hub.
Express yourself musically at a Capital Metro transit hub.

Capital Metro is putting out an open call for buskers — aka street perfomers — who might be willing to help the agency out at events in the coming months in exchange for a small honorarium plus any tips they collect. We’d like to add a little Austin flavor to some of our public events and station openings.

Buskers are a common site at transit stations throughout the world. In 2003, for example, the London Underground took an activity that had previously been illegal and set aside designated spots in many of their stations for performers to play. Now there are more than 3000 performances each week on the Tube. And a couple of years ago the Washington Post got acclaimed professional violinist Joshua Bell to play a 45-minute set — incognito — at the L’Enfant Plaza station in downtown DC to see whether regular commuters would stop and recognize the level of talent before them rather than hurrying past. They didn’t — he collected $32 and change.

Coincidentally this week also marks the opening of the International Busker Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I happened to be in Halifax in 1998 at the same time as the Festival and it made for a lively and entertaining week. If you’re ever in Canada….

Details on what we’re looking for at Capital Metro and how you can be a part of it can be found here.

And remember when it comes to busking (and life) enthusiasm and attitude sometimes count just as much as talent and ability.

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