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Minneapolis paying buskers for performances by BC on May 3, 2019
:mime: (MINNESOTA) The fair city of Minneapolis is now paying buskers and street performers to add culture to the downtown area.
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Thanks to the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID), streets will be more vibrant as the city encourages entertainers rather than shooing them away.

The DID Street Show pays performers $50 an hour (more if you have a duo or trio act) in addition to whatever they make in tips.

The downtown organization felt that the busking scene could get a boost by offering entertainers a guaranteed payment.

In Minneapolis, busking is legal as long as performers are on public property, don’t obstruct traffic and don’t violate noise ordinances.

But even a great artist can be met with indifference when trying to coax hurried pedestrians to stop, listen and open their wallets.

For more information on ...

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Royal Street and all that Jazz by BC on Apr 8, 2019
:party: (NEW ORLEANS) Celebrating 300 years in the making, New Orleans is currently busy with Mardi Gras, Jazz, and the French Quarter festivals. A visit by Busker Central reporters for a month reveals some interesting developments along with a deep history.
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Bourbon street in "da qwada" is traditionally known for it's late-night activities, bars, drunks, fights, and arrests. It's still a wild place but not too suitable for busking. Jackson Square mall is known for it's daytime bands, painters, and psychic readers. Now, one block off Bourbon, Royal street is really nice and becoming popular for buskers both day and night. Among the historic quaint shops, several jazz bands and others buskers have sprung up. And who can blame them? It's probably the best single street that embodies the French Quarter at it's best....

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Surviving a cashless society by BC on Nov 9, 2018
:disguise: (LONDON) An article in The Guardian examines where the streets have no change - and how buskers are surviving in cashless times.
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A recent hot topic, the article asks is it time performers turned to contactless readers? After all, dropping coins in a hat is increasingly, well, old hat.

Speaking of hats, they're down in London. Again, society is changing. Spending our money is much more convenient nowadays using plastic rather than carrying around coins and notes. Americans have gone plastic for decades but now it's becoming more of a world-wide trend.

For buskers, touchless card readers are now "the thing" since people are carrying around a lot less cash. With plastic, even if you get robbed right there on the street in broad daylight, the poor crook doesn't have access to your PIN number(s)....

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Contactless payment debuts for London buskers by BC on Jun 4, 2018
:tiphat: (LONDON) The humble street performer is no longer a victim of a cashless society. A new digital method called a contactless payment terminal can accept a tip to the busker with the wave of a card.
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In a test of the new method, patrons were seen waving their credit/debit cards in front of the reader. The project was launched last weekend by the Busk in London organization as a trial. A few performers were seen testing the new transactional device.

Charlotte Campbell, a full-time street performer who was part of the trial, told BBC News that the new tech "had a significant impact on contributions." Said Campbell, "More people than ever tap-to-donate whilst I sing, and often, when one person does, another follows."

The reader needs to be attached to a smartphone or tablet. It is then...

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The adventures of a Laowai busker in China by BC on May 4, 2018
:guitar: (SHANGHAI) The magazine That's Shanghai has published a detailed account of a Laowai busker's adventures entitled "Streetside Serenade". Over the past few years, China has relaxed it's laws against any crowd forming in public.
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As Benjamin Lipschitz reveals, "I soon discovered the true beauty of sidewalks: all cities had them! I traveled to Shandong, Shaanxi, Fujian, Hong Kong and eventually Taiwan. I got more ambitious. I went to the United States and eventually to Mexico where I lived for a year and a half. Everywhere I went, I found that by seeking sustenance in the streets with my music, I could learn more about a place and its culture than by visiting tourist sites."

And that's just the beginning of a fascinating account of a true world-class...

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