More places for performers to showcase talents

buskers ezme and nat.jpg

Buskers and street performers now have more places to entertain audiences under a new trial program in Hobart.

An additional 24 locations have been identified for busking and street performance, with the aim of creating a more vibrant outdoor environment and to showcase Hobart’s immense local talent.

The new arrangements will be in place from this week under a six-month trial program. During that time, buskers can obtain a permit that allows them to perform at any of the 27 identified locations across the City of Hobart area.

Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds said the new format would give more performers the opportunity to busk at a greater variety of locations.

“Street performers enhance the atmosphere of our city and contribute to our identity as a hub for culture and creativity,” Cr Reynolds said.

“This is an opportunity for the City of Hobart to further support the role that buskers and street performers play in creating a vibrant city and, most importantly, supports local musicians and performers who have been severely impacted by COVID-19.

“We hope this new program will attract more performers of varying genres to join the busking circuit.”

For multi-talented entertainer Ezme Webb-Hines, who performs with her husband Nat, the chance to connect with audiences through street performance is relished.

“Hobart is a great place for busking. There’s a super-supportive vibe for anyone giving their art medium of choice a go,” she said.

“We’ve taken advantage of the lockdown to work on our skills and we’re now very eager to share them with people.

“With the pandemic limiting indoor entertainment, we are so appreciative of this outdoor initiative to widen the locations for connection with a larger and more diverse range of people.”

Under the trial arrangements, buskers are able to perform between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and from 10am to 8pm on weekends, with a maximum 80 minutes performance time per location, per day.

Community, Culture and Events Committee Chair Zelinda Sherlock said this would ensure variety for business owners, customers and performers.

“Regular turnover at each location will keep things fresh and interesting for audiences and give more performers the opportunity to busk in the higher-profile locations,” Cr Sherlock said.

“As it is a trial, we’re really keen to get feedback from performers, business owners and the general public so we can work out whether we’ve got the format right.”

Suitable performance locations have been identified in the city centre, North Hobart, Battery Point, Queens Domain, Lenah Valley, Cornelian Bay, South Hobart and Sandy Bay.

Under the City of Hobart’s definition, busking and street performance can include live music, juggling, puppetry, living statue performance, magic, chalk art, spoken word/poetry, mime, physical theatre and dance.

Anyone wishing to obtain a busking permit can do so via the City of Hobart’s website at hobartcity.com.au/busking. To provide feedback on the trial, visit yoursay.hobarcity.com.au/busking.

The trial period is due to end on 30 March 2021, after which time the outcomes of the trial will be considered by the Council.

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