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OK, here’s a bit of fun.
The London Paper and Capital Radio who sponsor the London Licenced Buskers Scheme are having a
data collection exercise Competition for your favourite Busker.
I couldn’t possibly influence your choice of course, I simply lay the following information before you and let you make your mind up.
First a warning. You’ll need to register (grrr…) here in order to enter, but you can opt out of getting too much crap from them. You’re all grown-ups and you can decide what to do with your personal data. I will understand if you feel this is too much to ask.
I would also point out that I’d like to keep my licence please so try not to piss the organisers off with fake data. There are also draw prizes every day for people who enter which you’d miss out on if you gave a false id.
Once logged in you need to go to my profile and click on the voting button. You can only vote once per day but since most people I know are online at midnight, doing it at 11.55 and 12.05 every other day should make it more efficient for you, if less easy to remember. I think you get a notification then of where I am in the chart. Naturally, you should also feel free to vote for any busker you wish. I just hope you can live with your conscience.
So my busking adventures continue – I was at my second home, Bond St tonight – quite quiet, lots of small change dropped, but also lovely stuff like the lady who gave me a rose and the other who said I was the best thing she’d heard on the tube [compared to the coaches on the Bakerloo Line, presumably ].
Counting the money is giving me lots of fun. I have a spreadsheet going with the following metadata: date, day, time, location so that I can do some analysis. So far I’m averaging a bit more than minimum wage… but not quite up to my consulting day rate. No matter, the most important return I get is something I’m not quantifying precisely: the number of smiles and winks.
Today I met a Busking Manager for the first time. These guys get to go round the network, checking in with buskers that everythings alright and making sure that people have turned up to the right pitch at the right time. I’m also getting to meet more and more of my fellow performers. Most are really nice, but I have to say that a number of them are just bloody miserable, I suppose it’s like anything, but I do think there are a few who buy in so much to the suffering artist myth that nothing could make them happy.
The most obvious thing I’ve learned is that people with shorter legs walk more slowly than those with long legs. It’s really noticable when a train comes in, the crowd just gets shorter as it passes by – you just don’t see these things when you’re in the crowd yourself.
Photo by Russell Davies