From July 15th to 24th, Victoria will be welcoming British Columbia’s largest street performance festival – the Victoria International Buskers Festival! Entertainers from around the world will hit the streets of Victoria, presenting over 100 hours of music, dancing, flame-throwing, juggling, unicycling, hula hooping and the like! The entire busking festival is family-friendly and free to attend, but please remember that tips for performers are greatly appreciated! Shows start at different locations across the city at noon and run until 10 pm. “Busk Stops” (get it? Like bus stops?) will be lining Government Street for the casual observer, while larger-production performances will be held on stages across the city.
With all of the commotion downtown, driving can be a bit tricky. We recommend visiting the stops by bike! Come rent a bike from The Pedaler and enjoy the music and glimpses of performances riding through town to truly experience the entire festival from the Inner Harbour to Uptown Centre. To take a break from all the traffic, ride from the Hudson Public Market to Uptown Centre along our beautiful Galloping Goose Trail, taking in views from the Selkirk Trestle Bridge along the way (see map here)!
Fun Facts About Busking Around the World:
- In order to be a street musician in Dublin, performers must have at least 20 songs in their repertoire
- Many famous performers of all kinds started as buskers, including Rod Stewart, Bernie Mac and Jewel. Robin Williams used to mime outside the MoMA in New York. Pierce Brosnan was trained in the art of fire eating. But perhaps the most notable historical busker is Benjamin Franklin. That’s right! This Founding Father used to write songs and poems about current events and perform them in the streets
- There are four main forms of street performance – “circle shows” that aim to gather a crowd and have a clear beginning, middle and end, “walk-by acts” in which performers intend to be watched periodically, “stoplight performers” that perform their acts at a crosswalk or intersection where people are already stopped, and “cafe busking” that is usually done in restaurants, pubs and cafes.