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 Post subject: Busking in Boston?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 12:41 pm 
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OK, I'm broke. It occurs to me that I can take the
commuter train from Providence to Boston
and busk on the street. Probably fatter pickings
there than in Providence, and I qualify for the
senior fare.

Anybody have any advice about where to go?
How it's done? Anybody tried the subways?
Anything about how it works would be welcome.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:01 pm 
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I have this vague memory that I once heard you have to have a license to busk in Boston? It might have been a specific area of Boston, or it might be out-of-date -- this was probably a decade ago. But it might be worth checking out before learning the hard way.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:03 pm 
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Check with Royer. www.guitarmachine.com I watched him busking in Boston at the square.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:25 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA.
Busking in Boston was a real hassle in recent years, and the cops would boot you from many public places. Some laws were revisited (I don't think any were changed, just the interpretation) last year, and a somewhat uneasy truce between buskers and police has been holding. It's an unusual situation.

I haven't Busked here yet, as I've been too busy with other things, so I can't make suggestions on where the money is. However, keep in mind that this is the home Berklee, and The New England Conservatory of Music, so the level of talent out there on the street is, typically, much higher than you'd find in most other U.S. cities. There are certainly less skilled players to be found around, but to be honest, I don't usually see them getting much love. You might want to keep that in mind, when checking out what the train fare to and from the city is.

Loren


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:19 pm 
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Just my opinion, but it seems the pickings would be better in Providence ?

:-?

Edit: It occurs to me that those regulars (over a long period) I've seen have a deal w/ an establishment to busk out front w/ an eye to getting the place noticed while foot traffic is "delayed".

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Last edited by Jack Bradshaw on Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:21 pm 
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Loren wrote:
Busking in Boston was a real hassle in recent years, and the cops would boot you from many public places. Some laws were revisited (I don't think any were changed, just the interpretation) last year, and a somewhat uneasy truce between buskers and police has been holding. It's an unusual situation.

I haven't Busked here yet, as I've been too busy with other things, so I can't make suggestions on where the money is. However, keep in mind that this is the home Berklee, and The New England Conservatory of Music, so the level of talent out there on the street is, typically, much higher than you'd find in most other U.S. cities. There are certainly less skilled players to be found around, but to be honest, I don't usually see them getting much love. You might want to keep that in mind, when checking out what the train fare to and from the city is.

Loren


I was in Boston a couple of months ago; played on the
street in Cambridge (was stopped by hypothermia).

Yes, the level of musicianship there is extraordinary.
There was a black guy playing blues on a keyboard
and singing on a subway station. Jeez, he was good.

Amazing how good a musician can be and still
be nobody.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 6:28 pm 
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A friend once told me "musicians are always liked but seldom respected" My one and only busking session was interesting - pulled a few dollars, but the vibe from folks was way interesting - like a little window popped open in them just wide enough for the coin to get tossed through, then snapped shut like a mouse-trap.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 6:35 pm 
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It's an interesting experience, cause there I am at the bottom
of the totem pole, playing for tips on the street.
Humbling, which is good. About an hour in or so,
I get so hyperventilated that I stop caring about
anything, blissed out; I can even play the flute!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:36 pm 
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The big money is to be made at the Red Line Park Street T stop. Hit it during commuter hours. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:12 pm 
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A couple years ago I went to a summer program at Berklee. While I was there I took my Mandolin (this was back before I was into Whistle and Flute as much as I am now) out on the street. I made a grand total of about 3 dollars in about an hour, I have made more in the local shopping mall. My advice, avoid the Back Bay. That is the advice I got from a busker on the street the next day in nearly the same spot. He told me that Quincy was the best busking spot.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:26 pm 
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Thanks all.


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