October 8: Streets as Stage


Yesterday I had the pleasure of playing at Dublin’s annual Busker Fleadh. It was a really cool festival, beanbag chairs and a wide variety of street acts. While I was playing I was thinking about busking as an art, and quite an ancient one at that. From Socrates to Jesus to Ed Sheeran, people have always used the street as a stage. That’s why I believe that the streets should be kept public, for poets and preachers alike, to share what they feel they need to with the world. Boycott busking permits, they kill art. The street serves as a dynamic stage, with the performer using the environment around them for props and sets. Your audience is constantly changing, they come in waves, they stay they go they ebb they flow. If you can get even one to pause, it’s almost certain that more will gather. Free entertainment for the world, for the street, and it’s strange that nothing feels better than feeling deserving of someone’s pocket change. I love the streets of Dublin. As much as I miss Hamilton’s quiet curves and bends, it’s subtle charm, I can’t get enough of strolling Dublin streets at the moment. They make for quite the stage. Everywhere you go, the voices of singers and songwriters bounce off tall stoic brick building faces, flow down cobblestones and in front of shops.
As I was playing I was thinking of the Shakespeare poem “all the world is a stage” and rewrote it in my head:
Every street is a stage,
And all the men and women merely buskers,
They enter and exit, sometimes with instruments, sometimes with friends, sometimes on their own,
And one busker in his time plays many parts,
A performer, an observer, a kind stranger, a distracted passerby,
Every street is stage.

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