International and local buskers are headed for the V&A Waterfront from 6 October as the first-ever Cape Town Buskers’ Festival gets under way.
The Buskers Festival closes the Cape Town Fringe Festival – and the school holidays – with a programme of free-to-enter performances on four stages at the V&A Waterfront. Audiences pay for what they like, and can do so by putting money into the performers’ hats; a tradition called ‘hatting’.
Cape Town Buskers Festival CEO Tony Lankester says: “In many respects busking is the original crowd-funding. It’s also one of the oldest forms of theatre but, in South Africa, it’s not always accorded the same respect as other performance arts. We have brought out some international acts to add variety to the programme but our local street performers certainly dominate and will hold their own with the crowds.”
- The inaugural festival’s line-up includes Canada’s Dynamike, described as a loveable chap who can juggle chainsaws and children – although not at the same time.
- From Argentina comes Diego, a Chaplin impersonator, while the infectious sounds of Dr Bucketman (Spain) will have audiences rethinking their Tupperware collection.
- South African artists include Bravo, who blends comedy, juggling and acrobatics; Anecdote, a five-part a capela group, hip-hop dance group The Shifterz, and V&A Waterfront regular Ikamva Marimba. Audiences will be baffled by the talents of Levitating Man, and the Soccer Freestylers will be showing off their ball skills.
- Direct from the Cape Town Fringe comes rising star Nombasa, and the full-on sounds of the Nomadic Orchestra. Nylon will also perform their show Public Displays of Affection, which explores our gestures and body language in public spaces.
The programme sees 22 acts performing over the four days.
As the host venue, the V&A Waterfront has long been a space for buskers to interact with audiences. David Green, the V&A Waterfront’s CEO, says: “As the most-visited destination on the continent, the V&A Waterfront looks forward to hosting the first-ever Cape Town Buskers Festival. For our more than 24-million annual visitors, buskers are a beloved and firmly entrenched tradition, and visitors have come to expect an encounter with these colourful characters. Likewise, the V&A Waterfront presents buskers with the largest potential audience in the country.”
The Buskers’ Festival will also be hosting a workshop for buskers by Stuart Every, owner of Dolphin Creative, who represents buskers and busking festivals internationally. The workshop is intended to assist street performers in honing their craft, developing new audience skills and networking with other performers.