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World Buskers Festival

Record crowd expected at World Buskers Festival

A record crowd is expected to attend the 10th World Buskers Festival in Christchurch starting next week.

More than 180,000 watched the festival last year and director Jodi Wright said this year’s event starting January 15 should be bigger.

``We're expecting a record attendance this year because of the increased popularity, the additional events and the outstanding line up which is sure to bring out the crowds,’’ she said today.

One of the star attractions will be Tamara Campbell, who is putting on the Shirlee Sunflower Show, with another woman for the first time.

Her acrobatic comedy act Covered in Fluff, is about two characters and involves a flying carpet, duo acrobatic stunts, slapstick, comedy and belly dancing.

``We also need the help of sexy men in Christchurch for our act,’’ Ms Campbell said.

``We want to break in this very new show and make people laugh, really laugh at themselves and the world, give people relief and fun. I want to have a great time doing that.’’

Ms Campbell has performed in Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, England, Canada, America, Singapore, Japan, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain and Italy. The festival runs from January 15 to 26.

The Christchurch City Council core-funded festival is a leading event of its kind in Australasia. Each year the organisers get more than 100 applications from international acts hoping to secure one of the spots.

Twenty-four acts by 34 artists from around the planet make up the strongest line up ever seen for the 10th annual festival.

The festival’s 300 street and stage shows will inject fun into the centre of Christchurch from next week.

It will be a major drawcard for overseas tourists and New Zealand holidaymakers. Ms Wright said the crowd of 180,000 people last year was up 20 percent on figures for 2001.

The growth in the event has been phenomenal as just 8000 people saw the first festival in 1994.

Ms Wright said the Christchurch City Council’s annual resident survey in March found the Buskers event one of the most popular among the city’s people. A post festival education expo featuring tutors and performers from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute and Technology’s school of circo arts and the festival will be staged at the Christchurch Town Hall on January 28.

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