by EMO Adi
A Guide To Busking in the UK
|12th April 2015
There is a great sense of freedom to be able to go busking in so many cities and towns at any time that you like. There is no interview and no license needed to work the streets. There are many problems encountered though. Here in England we have a lot of cold and windy days and rain fall. Just to clarify:England is a part of Britain. Britain is the island that is divided into England, Scotland and Wales. Great Britain is Britain plus Northern Island which is part of the Island next to the island that is Britain and all these places are part of Europe. So I am English, British and European all at the same time, but I digress. So if we are lucky enough to be going out busking on a nice weather day then we may encounter other buskers plying for a pitch to play. The best place to set your pitch is in a medium sized town with a pedestrian precinct commonly known as a pedestrian zone in other countries. This is as opposed to those shopping centres/shopping malls that are privately owned and have security. These shopping centres are usually indoors and have music playing anyway through their own sound system, but sometimes these private shopping areas are outdoors and so not part of the public domain and the right to busk is for the owners of the site to decide. The security guard usually tells you to move on because you need written permission to play here. In some cases it may only be a step away before you are on public domain and so different laws then apply. The police are in charge of the public domain and they only move you on if there are complaints about you and your playing. Some buskers use amplification and can be quite loud. I tend not to amplify myself when I am busking. It is frustrating when other buskers are so loud that you can hear them five blocks away because they take up all that space and so you become limited to where you can play. Bagpipes are loud they even trump the trumpet for volume but some of these guitarists with amplifiers are the loudest.Even if you manage to get a good pitch on a good weather day and there are many pedestrians walking past you as you play, in my experience there is not much money to be made. Now that my be because I do not possess the X factor. I do posess the Y factor and the Z factor though because people wonder why I bother and then I send them to sleep with boredom. No, I am joking, I am quite good at my craft really! : )
At the time of writing this the places that I have busked in are: Barking, Greater London.New Street, Birmingham.Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.Altrincham, Greater Manchester.Sale, Greater Manchester.Pilrig Park, Edinburgh.Fargate, Sheffield. The Moor, Sheffield. Leeds. Wakefield. Long Row, Nottingham. Clumber Street, Nottingham. Arnold, Nottingham.Beeston, Nottingham. Derby. Hull. Macclesfield. HighStreet, Lincoln. Mansfield. Doncaster. Rotherham. Barnsley. Scunthorpe. Retford. Worksop. Ilkeston. The equipment that I use for busking: Martin Smith Acoustic guitar Model 401E-N. Some of the songs that I play are:House Of The Rising Sun, Wonderwall, Golden Brown, Princess Of The Street, No More Heroes, Hanging Around, Should I Stay Or Should I go? London Calling, Guns Of Brixton, English Civil War, Hersham Boys, Hurry Up Harry, Rat Trap, Like Clockwork, Knocking On Heavens Door, Nights In White Satin, Ever Fallen In Love? Smells Like Teen Spirit, Down In A Tube Sation At Midnight, Boulavard Of Broken Dreams, Forever, People Are Strange, The One I Love, Keep On Rocking In The Free World, White Wedding, Sound Of The Suburbs, Monster, Class War (own original song), The Miners'Song (own original song).