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Old 06-01-06, 06:18 PM   #1
daveneigh
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Default busking in philadelphia

I am planning a trip to philadelphia to visit family. What is a good place to busk in philly? Can anyone tell me if I need a license or not?
thanks

PS I'm a musician
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Old 08-14-06, 12:25 PM   #2
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Is there nobody in Philadelphia??????? We just moved here and I am a long time NYC busker.

Where can you work??? I'm out looking and saw musicians in RittenhouseSquare.

Joseph
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Old 08-16-06, 06:50 AM   #3
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hello,
i'm from near philly and when i went home in may i went looking as well but i only saw a really shit saxophone player... my sister saw a magician doing small shows at penns landing. theres another thread somewhere where someone was trying to organize a pitch at love park, which in my opinion would be a great place to do shows.
i went to a juggling meeting and everyone told me to talk to this old street performer because he was the street performing expert there and he just gave me useless info... he said the best pitch for circle shows was south street, which if you have seen hasn't any room anywhere for shows... good cheesesteaks though!
theres a square next to city hall that seemed pretty good as well.
you might justhave to test it out cuz i was trying to find out something for a while and well... zilch
good luck... if you do find somethin out i would appreciate it alot if you let me know...
mike
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Old 08-17-06, 09:28 AM   #4
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Thanks Mike,

we'll be moving in around Sept 8. I'll keep looking around. The only thing iworry about is the police confiscating my puppets and amp.


Joe
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Old 08-17-06, 09:41 AM   #5
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I just moved to Lancaster PA. If there are any circle show spots in Philly, I'll want to know about it! I've heard there isn't though; that South street used to be and isn't anymore, etc.
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Old 08-19-06, 07:56 AM   #6
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I almost tried a show in Lancaster in May but got distracted by family things... theres an indoor market there and theres a small pitch outside. the movement although not great looked definetely workable... Have you tried it? I imagine long builds good hats but i am only guessing. have fun.
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Old 08-21-06, 10:30 PM   #7
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I didn't see a space big enough for my show at the market, but I'll look again.
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Old 08-22-06, 05:22 AM   #8
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I would be interested in hearing how the Lancaster pitch goes if you try it as I am close by and hate working in Baltimore.
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Old 08-22-06, 07:50 AM   #9
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I was just in Philly a month ago. South St and Writtenhouse Sq. park are the places to be. Don't need a permit. Just don't be super super loud or they'll ticket you.
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Old 09-01-06, 09:57 PM   #10
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In Lancaster, PA there are several parks close to the center of town. Binn's Park on North Queen would be ideal if you find a time when there is enough foot traffic in the area. You would have to work around the fountain, but that's what draws people in the first place. I was working there at the recent political rally by invitation. It has numerous areas to build a circle. I'd love to see it as a place that people could come to on a Sunday afternoon for entertainment throughout the warmer part of the year.

Damien Blade and I met with some folks in City Hall two summers ago. We were told by a city clerk that busking is illegal in Lancaster unless you have permission from a private shop owner. We had plans to meet with the city police, but never followed through. Since then we have a new police chief. The new mayor Rick Gray might be very interested in supporting it. He lives a block away on Prince.

I did talk with the mayor at the time (Charlie Smithgall) and a city council member (Nelson Polite). Both said what we'd probably need to do was bring it to city council and ask them to pass an ordinance if we wanted to try to change city ordinance. I also talked with former mayor Art Morris who said he doesn't ever remember buskers in town, but he thought it was a good idea to pursue.

There are some musicians who work in the area of Central Market. I know one group just started playing with an open guitar case without a permit.

I was told by a friend that the new Eastern Market on East King would be open to buskers and is actively seeking them. My understanding is that Phil Wenger who owns Isaacs Restaurants would be the person to talk to. I've been too busy on Saturdays with other work to check it out other than one visit. They did have a music group playing that had CDs for sale. I know one of the performers and will ask him what the arrangement was.

Let me know if there is a way I can be help. I'd love to see a culture of supporting buskers be developed here in town. It might mean someone just doing it and seeing what happens.
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Old 10-17-06, 08:55 PM   #11
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i do a magic/ comedy show but when i worked philly i did sidewalk shows @ 8- 10 mins. on south street worked in alleys luring them into the alley off the sidewalk where i had more room to build my edge. i'd repeat over and over all day made good money.

i might suggest atlantic city. a $20 bus ticket short trip. can do full circle shows. found a hotel for $115 a week. or parking for van sleepin. long board walk full of walkers.
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Old 10-18-06, 07:53 PM   #12
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EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW.

I was just back in Philly. Got arrested on South street. Cops were just in a bad mood or something I guess. I'd played there before. My crowd was big enough to flood the street and they just asked me to move along. This time the show was just starting and I only had seven people in my crowd. They asked the crowd to leave then cuffed me and thrown me in the pady wagon. Charged me with "obstructing the highway".

Goodluck
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Old 10-18-06, 08:10 PM   #13
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ouch sorry to hear that never happened to me but i'll keep my eyes open next time...i usually bring them into an alley.
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Old 10-25-06, 05:20 PM   #14
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Embarrassed Philly

Oh my, and i was going to try out South St this Sunday. Well, i will try Rittenhouse Square Sundy afternoon. Gotta get out before it gets to cold, although I used to work right through Christmas in NYC.

I might try Atlantic City too. Big boardwalk, lots of people. Will there be any hassle?

Joe
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Old 10-26-06, 09:11 AM   #15
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I think it kinda depends on your act on South St. I draw a whole lot of attention. The bluegrass band never had any trouble nor the magician. None that I know of anyway. If you try doing it in an ally like someone mentioned I think you might be alright. Honestly though, that just came out of nowhere. You are taking a risk. I would recomend this- If you see a cop coming towards your show stop right in the middle and give a long hard slow clap like he is a hero then go on to tell the crowd how just the other day a police officer saved your life from some crackhead while you were performing then tell the crowd to give him a hand. Thats my strategy from now on. I don't want to get arrested again! hahaha.
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