Billy Bragg, Corinne Bailey Rae, Danny Goffey, Fatboy Slim, Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Jack Savoretti, Kiko BUN, King Charles, KT Tunstall, The View, Whinnie Williams and Paves have also all signed up as Ambassadors of the Busk in London scheme, which aims to make busking on London’s streets as easy as possible for performers.
Although great strides have been made in recent years, busking musicians and street performers continue to face obstacles in many cities as a result of confusing rules, unnecessary red tape and even the threat of arrest – despite it being popular with Londoners and tourists alike. This high-profile support for busking builds on the work being done by Busk in London to counter misconceptions, make street performance as easy and straightforward as possible in the capital and highlight its significance in the life of cities.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to strengthen London’s position as the world’s artistic and cultural capital and, at the first ever International Busking Day on 23 July, the capital will lead fifty cities across the UK, along with major world cities including New York, Sydney, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Paris and Toronto for the most ambitious celebration of busking and street performance ever staged.
The Gigs busking competition for 2016 is now underway and organisers are urging young musicians aged 11-25 to sign up at www.buskinlondon.gov.uk/gigs. London’s annual search for the capital’s most talented young musicians gives aspiring artists the opportunity to hone their skills and gain valuable experience performing in front of the public and, if successful, perform at the Grand Final at Westfield Stratford City in September.
Saturday 23 July – International Busking Day
23 & 24 July – Busk in London Festival
23 July to 7 August – Gigs competition live performances
Sunday 4 September – Gigs Grand Final at Westfield Stratford City