The Busking Project
February 9, 2011 12:59 PM   Subscribe

The Busking Project
Travelling around the globe to film, interview and discover the lives and motivations of the world's street artists. 40 cities in 30 countries in 10 months!

There's a lot to say about it, but the basics are:

1. The aim is to support struggling artists, educate people about this medium, and explore what the daily life is for thousands of street performers worldwide.
2. Travelling on as few planes as possible to keep the carbon footprint down and promote green travel
3. Working with local artists and film students to help integrate us into the communities and show us around (and translate for us)
4. Running the website from the road
5. Coming back to write a book and DVD
6. Executive producer is Jamie Catto from Faithless and One Giant Leap, and the Director is Nick Broad (me), founder of Undercover New York.

That's about it. Hope you enjoy it, and check out the map to see when we're coming to a city near you! Join in!
posted by omnigut (2 comments total)

What is the fifth version of posting something about this project across the sites?

I like your idea, but it just doesnt seem very well planned. You've been looking for someone to schedule your interviews, set up and maintain your website, manage all your social media, log all your tapes, find you insurance, answer your phones, act as local guides and translators etc....all for nothing, or as I believe you posted once, if you do turn a profit, a minimal payment.

How exactly are you supporting local artists? Are you going to pay the people you feature, or are you just going to give them "really good exposure?"

I just looked at your map, and I am pretty amazed you have never heard of one single performer in Chicago. Have you done any research whatsoever?

Sorry guys, but you have worn out your welcome with me, and any indulgence I have to offer you.

I'm guessing it's 100:1 odds you produce anything from this trip, other than kicking around on your inheritence for a couple of months.
posted by timsteil at 8:55 AM on February 11, 2011

Tim, thank you for your candid remarks. I just wish I'd seen them earlier!

I have just written and deleted a much longer answer to your post; I got very defensive, but hope I've shed some of that in the following.

Yes, it's the 5th (105th?) post across sites. I need as much help as possible! Setting something like this up in 9 months with no prior experience was pretty stupid of me. However, things aren't as bad as they were:

• We now have fixers in most places
• Our website is now set up and being maintained
• We have another person managing our social media
• We've made contacts in all 39 cities.
• We know buskers in 2/3 of the cities, including Chicago
• We know exactly what transport we'll be taking for 10 months. That's a lot of trains!

You are right to say that we won't be giving much support to most of the buskers we meet. After all, this is an English-language doc, and even then, many buskers aren't online and are certainly not "networking". Some buskers have told me they got a bunch of business from my other site in New York, but only a few.

Instead, we hope to educate our audience about buskers and busking (their lives, their medium, and how we benefit from it); to build an international community; and we're meeting various charities and organisations that use street art to benefit people's lives (like Zip ZapSparkBusking CancerBandstand Busking, ChapitoPlaying for ChangeCircus Child, Mural Arts, and so on)!

Finally, you're right about the inheritance. I was living with and looking after my nonagenarian grandmother for six years, who finally died in March of last year. I could have put that money towards a little over a year of film school. Instead, I decided to try to do something good with the money, fundraise and beg (busk?) for the rest, and get film experience along the way.

If nothing else, we might just promote green travel. The lovely people at 10:10 have asked us to blog on their international hub sites about our trip. If we can convince just one more average American to avoid a nostalgic drive down Route 66 next year, and instead to get on the great American railway, I'll feel like a roaring success.
posted by omnigut at 4:08 PM on February 28, 2011

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