‘If you play some good music, people immediately understand it’: Audience response to busking | Intellect Skip to content
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Buskers: Community, Culture, Commodity
  • ISSN: 1752-6299
  • E-ISSN: 1752-6302

Abstract

Busking is part of the daily urban life of citizens worldwide. Every street music performance can affect buskers or passers-by in different ways because the people, the conditions, the terms and the reasons for music-making is unique every single time. This article aims to deliver social insights from the Greek busking community of Thessaloniki. Specifically, we examine the relationship between street musicians and their audience, according to their attitudes and practices during a street performance. For this study, a mix-methods approach was followed where quantitative and qualitative data was collected from 146 participants (82 were members of the audience and 64 were buskers). Our methodology relied on semi-structured interviews to collect buskers’ and audiences’ views on their experiences, as well as field notes and observation to document their relationship and reactions first-hand. The main findings indicate that buskers and audiences sustain a healthy relationship between them while buskers are thankful for the audience’s reaction to their performance and tend to make a series of performative choices, according to audience preferences. Furthermore, all audience members actively approve of the existence of street music and show their appreciation of being part of this community, by donating money and participating through various ways (singing, dancing, taking photos).

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2023-09-11
2024-02-29
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