Thumbs up for busking in London

Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg: “What better place than the streets to try out your performing skills?”

Billy Bragg, KT Tunstall, Corinne Bailey Rae and Jack Savoretti are among the stars backing the Busk In London Festival

Some of the music industry’s top names have got behind London’s plans to become the most busker friendly city in the world. The Busk In London initiative aims to build on the success over eight years of the annual Gigs busking competition, as well as London Underground’s long-running busking scheme. Support comes from the likes of Billy Bragg, Corinne Bailey Rae, Danny Goffey, Fatboy Slim, The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell, Jack Savoretti, Kiko BUN, King Charles, KT Tunstall, The View, Whinnie Williams and Paves, who have all signed up as ambassadors of the scheme.

Billy Bragg commented: “Most of us in the music business are buskers at heart – what better place than the streets to try out your performing skills?” Corinne Bailey Rae was equally encouraging, saying: “I love seeing people busking. Walking down the street and hearing a busker playing can really change your day. And it’s a great way for musicians to create an immediate connection with people.”

“Busking was a hugely significant part of how I discovered who I was as a musician,” says KT Tunstall. “I remember the first time I ever tried it – I was SO nervous and felt SO stupid! It taught me to embrace a whole new level of confidence in my performance, how to to grab people’s attention and try to keep it, and see which songs made people stop and listen. It’s amazing training and a soulful, old-school transaction between your own creativity and a moving audience.”

The Gigs busking competition for 2016 is already underway and organisers are urging young musicians aged 11-25 to sign up. London’s annual search for the capital’s most talented young musicians gives aspiring artists the opportunity to hone their skills and gain valuable experience performing in front of the public.

International Busking Day is on Saturday 23 July with the Busk In London Festival being held across 23 and 24 July. The Gigs competition live performances will take place from 23 July to 7 August with the Grand Final at Westfield Stratford City on Sunday 4 September. More details can be found at

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