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-   -   Why DO events hire strolling entertainers? (

Stretch 01-21-10 12:22 PM

Why DO events hire strolling entertainers?
Occasionally I find a terrific event, and when I approach them, they are unfamiliar with the very concept of strolling or atmosphere variety entertainment.

Or the event is very familiar with balloon twisters, or face painters who collect from/vend to the public, but can not imagine why the festival should hire a stilt walker, juggler or other strolling entertainer.

Since I am so close to the forest, I can't see the trees, how about some help here. Why DO events hire strolling entertainers?

Strolling entertainers can/do :
flag traffic, draw attention, show the way, act as ambassadors of good will, act as a landmark, entertain those waiting in line so they don't get bored and leave, keep the kids out of the (paying) adults hair, keep the kids out of the venders hair, advertise/give recognition to event sponsors . . .

What else?

Lee Nelson 01-21-10 01:44 PM

they make it an event

Evan Young 01-21-10 02:32 PM

In my opinion, the best thing about strolling entertainment is that they give you something to take pictures of/with. It gives media something to take an interesting picture of.
Find some good images of you on the front page of a newspaper and put them next to some boring fair images in newspapers. I've always thought that would be a good marketing idea for strolling entertainers.

gav 01-22-10 04:28 AM

Strollers fill the gaps between the 'set' attractions making an event more full of entertainment. They help create a more festive atmosphere within the whole area.
I've noticed that in the case of shopping centers, strollers are the best form of entertainment as people seem less willing to gather in a crowd and hang around to watch a 'set' performance.

Stretch 01-26-10 06:16 PM

Gentlemaen! Thank you! All VERY good points. I know Art and/or Craft Festivals are always looking to boost their attendance, AND attract quality exhibitors. And wouldn't ya know it, we can help them attract media attention!

Kate Awesome 02-07-10 09:56 AM

We keep people on the grounds so they don't wander off after the shows.

martin ewen 02-08-10 05:31 PM

media magnetic

lubricate the overall atmosphere

provide non specific additional mini-shows.

Personalise the event for patrons, photos, one one one interactions.

Stilt specific, gives the event an added visual spectrum

can aid in crowd flux between set pieces.

just top of my head stuff.

Schuyler 03-06-10 11:47 PM

Would anybody mind if I use these ideas on a webpage?

martin ewen 03-07-10 01:17 AM

mine are given freely.

Knoxious 03-13-10 08:39 PM

People will also gladly take *anything* from a stilt walker be it a flyer, bit of festival promo garb or if you're slightly cheekier and a little bored; toilet paper, used bus tickets etc... But seriously, the power of stilt walkers to distribute promo material for an event is completely underestimated by most!

magic_fella 03-16-10 11:31 AM

I spend about half of my performing life strolling.

There is no better way to put a smile on an event, to interact PERSONALLY with the audience, to send them away with special "something" they will remember forever than what a strolling performer gives.

It's magic...real magic.


Devinthejuggler 12-02-10 10:26 AM

its because people are just dying inside to utter the phrase "hows the weather up there?"

On a side, id be interested in hearing the most creative comebacks.

the one I heard a friend of mine do that I like "it stinks of short people"

I have often pondered this question myself, when I think of how much i'v gotten paid for standing on stilts and waving at people I wonder where these events get this money from and why they don't have more creative uses for it. not that I dont love it mind you.

Arkadia 05-31-12 02:59 AM

Another thread all togheter, but I like this kind of challanges. Here's some lines. Not all bad hopefully.

How's the weather up there:

The air is thin

Better, but if it rains, I'll be soaked first.


There's no weather in outer space


"It stinks of short people" maybe: Clowded with short people

Full of short precipitations

davidkaye 05-31-12 05:24 AM


Originally Posted by magic_fella (Post 56604)
I spend about half of my performing life strolling.

There is no better way to put a smile on an event, to interact PERSONALLY with the audience, to send them away with special "something" they will remember forever than what a strolling performer gives.

It's magic...real magic.


I agree! The most unusual even I've ever been hired to stroll was a Christmas party for Good Vibrations, a feminist-owned sex toys company. I strode back and forth outside the event at a nightclub in San Francisco, playing my button accordion and dressed in a red suit with a Santa hat. They paid nicely and gave me a "gift bag" of various "adult toys" at the end of the evening, as well as letting me into the venue to see the burlesque entertainment.

bikerbusk 05-31-12 12:22 PM

i love the .walk about
It's a double headed sword when I years ago got into this, doing some home shows, promoters tried to screw me... Not Realizing I evolved from a pitchman to entertaining...
And then my friends and I started to think about the whole concept of strolling entertainment, to create an emotion to make the people smile, smiling people spending habits create cash flow for vendors...
So with that I and we will work a paying gig in a heartbeat, but the main goal was to have 6 small unique items that we produce ourselves...
And use Busking to entertain public where ever we are in the world using the full package of Music (which we preform) circus/clown/comedy skills... Comedy Magic ... And story, because to interact and bound, a storyteller is such a positive in efforts..
Then we have pass the hat. And in same motion at end of performance we give 5 min for crowd to buy the items we sell, and every item that is being sold was used in story of performance, but the 5 min last 15 depending on crowd..
I been using this concept for years now, and 4 years ago I found the perfect instrument as keystone, for working street and stage...
My Cirque friends want me to audition for Cirque here in vegas, I want to take my Cirque friends away from production and with there skills do 100% busking / sells, since my last partner moved back east for family reasons...
But I just had idea years ago on strolling concept that would give cash flow and not depend on promoter ....

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