It’s that time of year again…a refresher on Busker Etiquette!

Hey everyone!

Hope you all had a great Victoria Day weekend! I sure did.  I had a great time performing at the Toronto International Circus Festival (TICF) and the Warkworth Lilac Festival. If you happened to come out to TICF, you may have caught Coppelia roving around, bumping into people and things! Maybe you even got a chance to wind her up?For those of you who missed it, I managed to snap a shot of her in one of her many, MANY costumes! I had a blast performing for all of the awesome audiences who came out to the wonderful (free!) event held at Harbourfront Centre.

Coppelia as 'Robo-Wife 9000' - Thanks to Kristen McGregor for the shot!

This weekend heralded in the official start to the summer busking season! What fun!
This, of course, means it’s also time for a refresher for some of you about a topic I am very passionate about: that’s right – busking etiquette!

Over the years, I’ve compiled a list of things to do and not do if you happen to stumble across a busker in your town!

The Do’s:
1. DO stop and watch the show! After all, you’re bound to see something pretty remarkable!

2. DO get involved in the show! Most of us don’t have a show without an audience or participants to help us out! This includes making lots of noise when we do stuff you like. 😉

3. If you take a picture or have been called to be a part of the show, MAKE A DONATION. It is *bad* busker etiquette to engage in a show and walk away without any contribution. If I’m good enough for you to take a picture of, then I’m good enough for a tip.

The Don’ts:

1. DON’T walk through a show as it’s happening. This especially includes chalk-drawing and statue shows. Remember: when we are performing, our area of the sidewalk (‘pitch’) is our stage, and you wouldn’t walk across a stage at your local theatre, would you?

2. DON’T give pennies. Nothing is more insulting to a busker than small coin. We all would much rather prefer you say something like ‘Thank you for making my day!’ or, perhaps even say ‘it wasn’t my bag’ (and even then, you can walk away before the finale..)

…that’s pretty much all I can think of for now. Just remember one rule of thumb if you happen across one of us working this summer: what other job gives you the product before asking for compensation? Just remember to tip us what you think we are worth (*cough*$5*cough*) and have a wonderful experience watching the magic unfold before your eyes!

See you this summer!

1 Comment

  •    Reply
    Kristine Gibbons October 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Sadly, I have seen something offered worse than a penny. An ice cream cone. Seriously, a group of music students (and music professors) offering a busker an ice cream cone. And walking away from other buskers after watching the show for 10 minutes! Not only that, my professors didn’t know what “busker” meant.

    Never have I been so embarassed in my life.

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