Following the resumption of live busking activities in March, National Arts Council (NAC) met a diverse range of representatives from the busking community over three engagement sessions between April to June 2022. The sessions sought to hear from the buskers about their varied experiences and encounters on the streets, gather feedback on the newly launched busking e-service portal as well as to brainstorm solutions on the ideal characteristics of busking locations and navigating challenging situations while busking. Overall, the buskers expressed excitement for live busking to return to the streets again.
Here is a summary of the discussions:
- Busking e-service portal is useful for planning busking schedules and to profile themselves, with varied views on booking period and ideal timeframe for balloting of slots and busking durations.
- In managing the allocation of popular locations, buskers recognised equity is important and that the e-service portal helps ensure accessibility through balloting.
- Suggestions to monitor overall demand of locations especially those that are becoming more popular, and to add new locations or delist existing ones based on demand.
- Discussions on promoting less popular locations and how to maximise popular spots through sharing.
- Key characteristics of an ideal busking location include: access to amenities such as toilets, shelters, loading/unloading of their equipment as well as footfall, lighting and ambience etc. Heartland locations were also raised as good examples.
- Certain busking acts for example, circus acts will require more space and suggestions for the demand for such locations to be moderated to ensure fair access and optimal usage of busking locations.
- Buskers acknowledged that self-regulation may be challenging to administer on their own as not everyone will be willing to be cooperative and collaborative; suggestions to establish a Code of Conduct for the busking community and for example, a penalty system to deter irresponsible behaviours were discussed. Possible learnings from overseas busking districts on how such situations are managed can be explored too.
NAC will continue regular engagements with the busking community and venue partners, in working together to make further improvements to the e-service portal and to enhance user experience.
Updated as of 4 August 2022