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Old 03-23-05, 04:36 AM   #1
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Default Busking while traveling

OK, Question. I will be traveling out west this summer, when you are on the road how do you pick your pitches in a strange city?

I will be going thru Chicago, Minneapolis then thru North Dakota, Montans and Idaho to Seattle and I know that some of these places have never seen a busker, or evan a magician except on TV, so how do you set up in a town you have never been in before?

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Old 03-23-05, 04:48 AM   #2
Doctor Eric
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I'd just say, be careful in Chicago, with your get up. They're still a little bit sensitive about that Gacy thing.

EDIT: Okay, useful information. Just do it, and claim ignorance if anyone says anything. You're already travelling, so if they stop you in one place, just move on to another. In my experience, as long as you're smart about things (i.e. don't block motor traffic, don't completely clog a pedestrian mall, be chill about fire, stuff like that), then the worst that will happen is that they will tell you to stop, or, the very most, ticket you (like that matters).


Last edited by Doctor Eric; 03-23-05 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 08-13-06, 09:17 PM   #3
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Default am I too late?

i kinda like to be busking on the road. Being the guy from out of town is the best thing ever. well not always right away. First step I think is look at the city map. Sometimes it just right there on the map. DO SHOW HERE! with a big arrow. But other times it dosent help at all. At least you know where you are. Pick up a local paper, I go for the free one but you just do what ever you want. Look for something going on. if there is a festival going on (it could happen) you might be able to get booked. check it out.
Then you have to ask people questions, sometimes you even have to ask the old people not just the cool ones. Questions like... is there anyplace around where where people go at night to hang out? Then when they look at you wierd say like a shopping street, boardwalk, big central square, party street like Bourbon street or Beale St., Do people like to go to watch the sunset somewhere? Are there fireworks?
Then if you get an awnser check it out on other people. dont just go to some field somewhere because someone said it was a good time. "After you check the tip out"...and made sure its legit go there.
I would go without my stuff if I could first. Looking for the magic spot thats gonna make ya rich. Is sooo fun right!

Cops and Security Guards...Its up to you what you wanna do. If you ask they can say no. But they could be ok with it too. I think if you only wanna do one show there not going to prosicute you on the first time they see you. They rarely stop me doing a show. I have even been able to work a few places where it is banned and I didnt know it until later. I was all out there with my amp not a care in the world. Not knowing that I could have been fined. But did a wicked show and continued on the road.
If you do see some cops or security dudes and they seem ok approach them, and chat em up. Ask if people ever do shows there if there is a permit system(this is luckily a friday early afternoon) just incase there is a permit it would be good to have time to get it. They probably willnt care what you do just dont shoot anyone.
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Old 08-19-06, 02:22 PM   #4
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I've been on the road for two and a half months. I'll always just ask around. Ask a few people who look like they'd be hip to the scene and they'll lead you in the right direction. (Make sure to ask a few though.)

I was in Chicago awhile ago. They don't allow street performing on most of Michigan Ave. anymore. Try infront of millenium park. The beach is also good, but I think it's illegal. No one ever bothered me there though. Also, in Chicago there is a $50 street performing permit that you need to buy. Just go to city hall and it'll take an hour at the most. Watch out if you don't get it, they will fuck with you.

I'm actually traveling around the world right now by way of busking and making a documentary about it. If you are interested you can check it out at

Oh, and if you can stop in cities that have smoking bans for all the resteraunts and bars. I don't know what your act is but I perform for everyone out having a ciggarette. Alot of these places have patios and so people will just eat outside. It's a good deal.

god speed
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