Page 44 - Sandgate Guide April – May Issue
P. 44

Taking It To The Streets!
Story Philip Woods
ome of the biggest names in music around the world started out busking; think of current Australian global
superstar Toni Watson (a.k.a. ‘Tones and I’), Tracy Chapman and even Ed Sheeran.
In fact, busking could be viewed as one of the purest forms of art. It’s direct, personal, creative and expressive. Street performers have been a part of human society for millennia, making us laugh, cry, smile or sing along; and their value as a proving ground for aspiring musicians is huge.
Nathan Edgell is one of the founding members of the planning team that organises the Toowoomba Busking Festival, which usually happens in April and is now in its third year. “The festival gets better each year,” said Nathan. “Last year we had over 80 different performers; some were locals and others travelled from all over Queensland, as well as from interstate to be a part of it.
“We see part of our role as championing artists in the town; doing our bit to support our growing artistic, musical and creative scene,” Nathan said.
But it’s not just Toowoomba. Buskers are dotted around streets and shopping areas in every city and most towns, and provide great value entertainment to enhance any otherwise mundane day.
Currently there are at least eight busking festivals held every year in Australia and New Zealand, including the Belgrave Buskers Festival in Victoria, the Busker National Folk Festival in Canberra and the World Busker Festival in Christchurch.
Nathan attributes the success of the Toowoomba Busking Festival to a few things. “Everybody loves to see great entertainment, whether it’s on the street or in a venue. We aim to provide an environment for buskers where it’s more about enjoying the performance than winning any prize, so everybody wins.”
The superstars and singers that we love all started out somewhere, so the next time you are out and about, seek out the areas where street performers play and enjoy some (almost) free entertainment. Remember, just a few dollars from your pocket encourages a beautiful tradition of public performance.
When you take to the streets, take in some tunes.

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