The fifth annual BUSKOUT Competition recently took place up and down the main street of Goulburn. This event couldn't be more musically diverse and always attracts a wide range of young musicians between the ages of 5 and 18. Every year the people of Goulburn support these young musicians with great generosity, creating a positive and happy environment in which they can feel safe and free to make their music no matter the weather conditions. In the 21st century, busking has really come into its own. Busking today feels very modern and cosmopolitan - you only need to spend time in the centre of Sydney or Melbourne to see and hear some of the best musicians and entertainers around! I remember being mesmerised recently by a young pianist who brought his portable keyboard and battery-powered amp into Bourke Street, Melbourne early one Sunday morning. He began to play some of the most amazing, fascinating and breathtaking music I had heard in ages. It turns out his "gimmick" was that he played full piano arrangements of themes from online games - and it was brilliant!
Although busking is popular today, the traditions of the roaming street entertainer and musician traces a history back centuries to the times of troubadours and French trouveres. Their role was primarily to entertain but also to poke playful musical or dramatic fun at the politics and society of the day. Maybe we could do with a bit more of that these days? In any case, busking is so much more than simply performing music for small change on a street, and it is certainly not akin to begging! Buskers are important focal determinants of community, of oneness, of local identity. Buskers perform a critical function as "Placemakers" in communities. See the attached link for further explanation of this role: https://busk.co/blog/busking-beat/positive-impact-busking-cities/
In the meantime, all praise to our brave young musicians who survived the fiendish Goulburn wind and played their hearts for your enjoyment! Buskout SIX will take place on August 31st, 2019.