Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Things that Bemuse Me #2: The Busker and his Stingy Audience

Busking is something that most musicians do at some point - be it for experience, pleasure, or the money. Personally, I think that walking through streets in iconic towns and cities such as York or Beverley without being surrounded by music would be the end of the world.

© chrisjohnbeckett at Flickr

Sadly, in many places, especially Hull, people don't stop to reward the musicians, but instead just walk straight by. We've really got to the world where many people are too busy to even stop for even one moment to listen properly and admire good musicianship. Would it kill people to just throw in 50p, or even less if they don't have that much on them? Even person walking by gave the musician busking even 10p it would at least be something.

For me, I almost always give any busker I see some money, and usually at least £1. Quite often, if they're selling CD's I buy those too, just to show support for local artists. It shocks me to see how many people don't.

The other day I was out with a friend, and after walking past a hipster playing the guitar he turned to me and said, 'I didn't personally give him money because his strum pattern is rubbish'. Despite the fact that this friend of mine is a guitarist, I couldn't help but feel saddened by the fact that it has come down to such a trivial matter. As we walked down that street, at least 40 others passed the boy, and not a single person stopped to listen.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people who do give money. It's just personally I feel that especially where I live, buskers are frowned upon.

Why do people behave like this towards street musicians?
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