Super Bowl of Street Performers: Vancouver International Busker Festival, July 9-15

Photo credit: Mark Klotz | Flickr

Musicians.  Freaks.  Jugglers.  Acrobats.  And – just maybe – the sexiest man alive in Spandex.

This week the streets of downtown Vancouver come alive with street performances as part of the Vancouver International Busker Festival.  Top buskers from around the city and around the world will converge on Granville Street, the West End and multiple satellite locations for a week of world-class street entertainment.

So what’s on tap?  Organizers haven’t released a complete list of buskers yet, but we do know a few headliners.  There’s Chalkmaster Dave, who hails from Toronto and creates mammoth works of chalk art right on the pavement.  And the rowdy LOL Brothers, two hairy guys in white tank tops who juggle fire, swords and much more.   Not to mention the comic stylings of Basketball Jones, who comes from New Zealand, wears an afro wig and juggles basketballs.

All this out-of-town talent is of course supplemented by Vancouver’s own robust busking community – magicians, musicians, rope skippers, acrobats and more.

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Super Bowl of Street Performers: Vancouver International Busker Festival, July 9-15

Best Street Performer in Vancouver? You make the call!

Spandy Andy Van2010

It’s probably one of the most underappreciated jobs in the city: the street busker.

You play, sing or perform on street corners for hours on end while crowds of people push by without even batting an eyelash.  You’re out there in the rain, in the hot sun, on chilly nights and gray days.  And your compensation?  A few coins thrown your way every so often.

But I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the buskers are a pivotal piece of cultural life in downtown Vancouver (the good ones, at least).  There’s quite a bit of talent out there, which tends to go unnoticed.  So I’d like to put this question out there:

Do you have a favourite Vancouver busker?  If so, please leave a comment below, ideally with a YouTube link to a clip of a performance.

So just what is it like to be a street busker?

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Best Street Performer in Vancouver? You make the call!

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