Estimated 300,000 turn-out for World Buskers Festival
January 30, 2012
Estimated 300,000 turn-out for Stronger Christchurch World Buskers Festival
As the curtain falls on the 19th Stronger Christchurch World Buskers Festival organisers estimate the event has brought smiles and laughter to more than 300,000 people over the past 11 days.
“Apart from one day when it was cold and wet, we’ve had really big crowds turning up to North Hagley Park to see the buskers perform and we’re thrilled with how the festival has gone,’’ says the festival’s executive director Jo Blair.
The shows in the two domes alone have attracted 27,800 people, while between 1500 and 3000 attended each of the night shows at the outdoor Stronger Christchurch Busker Comedy Club.
Some shows, such as Sam Wills’ The Boy With Tape On His Face – More Tape, were so popular that keen fans queued for two hours to secure seats.
On the busiest days at Busker Park, as North Hagley Park became known during the course of the festival, up to 30,000 people were watching the action on the four outdoor stages.
“The crowds have clearly loved the line-up of performers we selected for this year’s festival and the performers have loved the new set-up in North Hagley Park and have really enjoyed bringing some humour and fun to Christchurch,’’ Ms Blair says.
While most of the busking action was centred on Hagley Park Christchurch’s Re-Start mall also benefited from the festival atmosphere thanks to the CPIT Music Pitch located there. There was an extra buzz at the Botanic Gardens too where the Tip Top Busker Kids Pitch and another performing stage were based. Christchurch Casino and The Colombo also saw lots of late night action.
Festival artistic director Jodi Wright says the new set-up for the festival worked extremely well and allowed people to move easily between acts.
“It’s been fantastic to see so many people out and about in the park enjoying themselves. They’ve been able to move around at their leisure and really make the most of this opportunity to see these very talented buskers work their magic. I think the festival has been a huge morale boost for the city and has really helped lift people’s spirits,” Ms Wright says.
Best Buskers 2012
Winner of The Press Critics’ Choice
Best: international performer: Hilby – The Skinny German Juggle Boy
Best New Zealand Performer: Javier Jarquin – The Card Ninja
Winner of Telecom Be A
Busker, for best young buskers
Cameron Champion and Max Earnshaw, both aged 14 years – Christchurch musical duo I gave that guy five bucks
Special commendation: Christine Reodica
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