Fatboy Slim becomes ambassador for Busk in London

Charlotte Maxwell
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Fatboy Slim, Kiko Bun, Billy Bragg, Corinne Bailey Rae and Jack Savoretti are amongst some of the stars backing London’s Busk In London Festival this 23rd & 24th July in Trafalgar Square.

Some of the music industry’s top names have thrown their weight behind London’s plans to become the most busker friendly city in the world. High profile support comes ahead of London leading International Busking Day and young musicians are urged to sign up to this year’s Gigs competition.

Billy Bragg, Corinne Bailey Rae, Danny Goffey, Fatboy Slim, Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Jack Savoretti, Kiko BUN, King Charles, KT Tunstall, The View, Whinnie Williams and Paves have also all signed up as Ambassadors of the Busk in London scheme, which aims to make busking on London’s streets as easy as possible for performers.

Although great strides have been made in recent years, busking musicians and street performers continue to face obstacles in many cities as a result of confusing rules, unnecessary red tape and even the threat of arrest – despite it being popular with Londoners and tourists alike. This high-profile support for busking builds on the work being done by Busk in London to counter misconceptions, make street performance as easy and straightforward as possible in the capital and highlight its significance in the life of cities. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to strengthen London’s position as the world’s artistic and cultural capital and, at the first ever International Busking Day on 23 July, the capital will lead fifty cities across the UK, along with major world cities including New York, Sydney, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Paris and Toronto for the most ambitious celebration of busking and street performance ever staged.
“I started my career busking with Paul Heaton pre the Housemartins. We were called The Stomping Pond Frogs in the early 80’s, so I’m very proud to be a supporter of buskers nationwide. It’s a story come full circle.” Fatboy Slim
“Having toured Europe a lot these last couple of years, one thing I always recognise and say about the UK music scene is that, like no other place it gives new, up and coming artists a platform. That starts with busking and playing in small venues. Busk in London goes right to the heart of this and will continue to make this a unique music city.” Jack Savoretti

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“I love seeing people busking. Walking down the street and hearing a busker playing can really change your day. And it’s a great way for musicians to create an immediate connection with people.” Corinne Bailey Rae
“Busking was a hugely significant part of how I discovered who I was as a musician. I remember the first time I ever tried it – I was SO nervous and felt SO stupid! It taught me to embrace a whole new level of confidence in my performance, how to to grab people’s attention and try to keep it, and see which songs made people stop and listen. It’s amazing training and a soulful, old-school transaction between your own creativity and a moving audience.” KT Tunstall

“Most of us in the music business are buskers at heart – what better place than the streets to try out your performing skills?” Billy Bragg:
“I believe that busking is a great way for young musicians to learn their craft. The music industry is tough, and busking provides a platform for anyone who wishes to showcase their talents. Imagine seeing a young Bob Dylan singing Blowin’ in the wind on your way out of Piccadilly Circus!” Danny Goffey from Supergrass

Saturday 23 July – International Busking Day
23 & 24 July – Busk in London Festival
23 July to 7 August – Gigs competition live performances
Sunday 4 September – Gigs Grand Final at Westfield Stratford City

About Charlotte Maxwell

Charlotte Maxwell is a Vada Magazine staff writer.