Melburnians are being urged to throw their support behind the city’s iconic buskers, with the creation of an online competition to help performers whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19. Hundreds of Melbourne’s buskers are set to take part in the Tip My Hat busking competition being run by the City of Melbourne via Instagram.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said Melbourne’s buskers have been amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the city’s streets falling silent for the first time in decades. “Melbourne’s buskers are a major part of what makes our city so unique and vibrant,” she said.
“More than 1600 buskers and performers take to Melbourne’s streets every year but the lockdown restrictions have prevented people from busking in the city. Many of our buskers have continued to showcase their work online during this time and we want to help them reach a wider audience.”
“This online busking competition is an opportunity for everyone to listen and watch their incredible work, and a practical way we can offer support to our buskers to help them get through the pandemic,” said the Lord Mayor.
The Tip My Hat busking competition will be open to all City of Melbourne buskers who currently hold a permit. Buskers will submit their performances to be uploaded to the City of Melbourne Instagram page, along with their individual funding links to receive donations.
A weekly prize will be awarded to performers who receive the most votes, with a $300 cash prize and the opportunity to take part in the annual Melbourne Music Week busking program.
Chair of the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio, Councillor Rohan Leppert, said it’s important the City of Melbourne continues to foster the busking community’s growth. “Melbourne’s busking scene is one of the best in the world, fostering major acts like Tash Sultana and the Pierce Brothers,” he said.
“While performers are unable to take to our streets during COVID-19, it’s important we continue to support our buskers and help encourage new and emerging talent. The Tip My Hat busking competition is an opportunity for our buskers to showcase their talents – from pavement artists to musicians and singers.”
“I would encourage all of our buskers and performers to take part and for the wider Melbourne community to show their support and tip buskers’ virtual hats,” said Cr Leppert.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, buskers and street performers have been offered free six month extensions to their current permits. The Tip My Hat busking competition will run from Thursday 17 September until Wednesday 18 November 2020. For more information, visit: www.melbourne.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Busking Guitarist – courtesy of City of Melbourne