First published in June 2017, this blog has been updated and published September 2019. Many of us want to make some cash while we are travelling. After all, it is what keeps us travelling. One way to make some cash is to do some busking or street performing. Read on and find out how Busking can help you Travel the World.
What is Busking or Street Performing
Wikipedia states ‘Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given’.
Street Performers, or Buskers as I prefer to call them come in many forms. Musicians, jugglers, mimers, singers, living statues, acrobatics, balloon twisters, clowns, doing caricatures, puppeteering, reciting prose, drawing street art, sword swallowing, ventriloquism, flea circus, to name a few. And you can be of any age. Be male, female or other and work with others or alone.
Why Busk or Street Perform
Well, why not? It doesn’t matter what you do to make extra cash to keep travelling the world, if you want to busk or street perform then do it.
Two things you need to Busk
You need two things to busk or street perform. An Act and a street performer permit. To find out if you need a street performer permit check out the local government website of where you plan to perform in to see where a license is required and how much the license might be.
Without the legal approval you will need to keep your eye out for the authorities. You may get off with a warning the first time but the second time round you may not be so lucky. Many countries have embraced buskers and in some places it has a highly organised business. For instance, in Melbourne, Australia they have a ‘Street Performers’ Policy’ which you can download at their website www.melbourne.vic.gov.au. You will also need to apply for a permit to busk in this city.
Melbourne is not alone, most cities have a policy and require you to apply for a permit. Bern in Switzerland is another such city that has drawn up regulations that buskers must abide by. In fact, Bern has embraced street performers so much that every August they have a buskers festival. For more information to perform at this event visit www.buskersbern.ch.
Select your Venue
Selecting your venue to make ‘loads of cash’ is crucial. Some authorities may advise you specific places you can busk but if they don’t you need your chosen spot to be accessible to the crowd with enough room for them to assemble. You need to find a place that does not block the thoroughfare or traffic. Some authorities may also be specific on the times you can perform. A big ‘no-no’ is infringing on another busker’s turf so if you are new to the area, you may want to speak to other buskers first as many buskers share the same turf by allocating time slots.
Popular Busking Spots
Popular places to perform include shopping malls, public transport stations, outside or near tourist attractions or at major festivals and events. Profitable times can be during the morning, lunchtime and evening rushes. Sundays are a good day with many people out and about and some buskers have told me that Sunday is their most profitable day. Don’t forget your hat or something to pass around!
So if you have some performance skills why not try your hand at busking or street performing. You never know, it might be one way to make extra cash to help you to continue travelling the world.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked at Sydney Airport. In her 20’s she left Australia and spent 4 years on a working holiday in London before working and travelling in other countries. She currently calls Melbourne home.