Show respect for the buskers

Hopefully everyone is aware that the annual Art Walk is upon us for the month of August at locations all over downtown WL.

Hopefully everyone is aware that the annual Art Walk is upon us for the month of August at locations all over downtown WL.

Honestly, I don’t know anything about art but from what I gather, you can get a program and wander around town viewing the exhibits of many local artists at a bunch of cool venues.  This year, organizers have added the option for street musicians or “buskers” to perform around town during this period. Busking is not really a common sight around here so I’ll attempt to lay out a few simple guidelines for folks who want to go check out the street musicians but may be nervous or uncomfortable approaching the performers. There are only a few things you need to know and a few party fouls you should avoid. First, don’t be shy to talk to the performers — anyone who is out doing this has a tremendous ego to begin with and would love it if you would come by and fan it for them. Please don’t interrupt them in the middle of a song but certainly feel free to ask questions or make requests in between numbers.

Second, if you make a request but the performer doesn’t know the particular tune you are after, it is perfectly acceptable to suggest it as something they might want to add to their repertoire … but please don’t berate them or call them names or throw any rotten fruit or vegetables just because they don’t know your favourite song. There are only so many songs a person can learn in a lifetime and that number is different for everybody. Third, be as generous as you feel you can be. If you like the music, leave some jingle if you can … but donations are certainly not expected or mandatory. If you don’t like the music, you are entitled to your opinion, but you should probably keep that to yourself and just move along. Lastly, don’t touch any of the performers’ stuff without their permission. Good musical instruments don’t come cheap and really good ones really don’t come cheap.

Enjoy the art and the music and please support local artists of any genre whenever you can. Trust me, they love the attention.

Dean Fulton is a freelance columnist for the Tribune and local musician.

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