I've only gone busking a few times, and always with my sister.
Busking with others is always a good idea, particularly for a woman. If you're comfortable with busking alone, then you should feel free to do so. But trust your gut, absolutely. Better to wonder if you're not being a bit silly about it than to have to face a bad situation for ignoring your misgivings. Either way, keep an easy command of your space.
There have been one or 2 occasions when i thought there was someone hanging about, keeping an eye on my takings.
It's always something to be aware of.
I've had a look on busking sites and often people say how much fun busking is and then in the same sentance outline that getting mugged in part of the process???? Not exactly positive feedback.
Saying that getting mugged is "part of the process" is idiotic, and no advice to speak of. They deserve no thanks from you. If you stand any risk, it will depend a lot on the venue you choose. Some venues are simply not good ideas at all, but it doesn't take much to think that out if you know the turf.
what have your experiances been like, am i over reacting or is this simply the way things are?? to be honest i look quite harmless and maybe a soft target. I'd really like to get cracking at it when the weather improves but also dont want to be foolish and put myself in a bad position. Any advise???
First of all you need to be informed as to the city's busking ordinances; some cities are busker-friendly, while others are not. You may have to get a permit. Whether you wish to defy ordinances is on you. As for looking to safe venues, if you don't know the city, you need to talk to veteran buskers of the city you plan to busk in. They will know, and help you out if they don't feel you're horning in on their patch. The police, or a liaison, should be able to give you very reliable info as well should you need it.
My own busking has been limited to Minneapolis, which is a very busker-friendly town with reasonable prohibitions (like not parking yourself on private property without permission, or being an obstacle to regular foot traffic; sensible stuff like that), and my experiences have been pretty uneventful, but then I don't go to dodgy spots to do it, either. I would suggest shaded locations if the sun's out (definitely), and areas where people are relaxed and enjoying themselves, such as a park or a scenic bridge. Farmers' markets are good. Having a lot of people around won't necessarily mean a lot of interest, much less a big take, if they're all busy and task-oriented, such as hurrying to or from lunch break on a work day.
Hope that's a start.