Busker's Festival 2011
Follow the summer tourist trail through Barcelona’s most famous streets and you’ll encounter an abundance of artists. Painters perch next to mime artists, singers compete for crowds and break-dancers get spectators going. But a constant presence on the street corners and the sweltering, underground warrens of the metro, is the ubiquitous busker; they’re a permanent fixture.
Returning for its seventh year, the Busker’s (sic.) Festival continues to put the spotlight on some of the world’s most underrated musicians; as organisers put it, the festival's objective is to “reclaim” the street musician.
While the event is undoubtedly a laid-back affair, it is far from an amateur production. Audiences are treated to a diverse line-up of international artists, who perform on different stages around the port area (see website for more details). Musicians will be armed with drums to didgeridoos in order to deliver an eclectic array of shows.
In true busking tradition, performers are not paid, meaning each act takes home only what the audience thinks they deserve—so expect some all-guns-blazing busking. Audience participation is encouraged, giving the festival added appeal for families.
My advice? Head to the Busker’s Festival with an open mind and an open wallet, and enjoy one of Barcelona’s lesser-hyped festivals.
Busker’s Festival 2011. August 4th to 7th. www.buskersfestivalbarcelona.org