York's Buskival entertains on the Diamond Jubilee Weekend

Last weekend, on the 2nd and 3rd of June, York had over 50 performers take to its streets to show off their busking talents. The city's pavements were given a festival make-over as they were filled with the sound of musicians and pavements were blocked as large crowds accumulated around the performers.

Spotted across the city, the performers added much colour to popular shopping spots. In particular, Kaminari, the local Taiko group entertained Coppergate with their high-octane performance using traditional Japanese forms of percussion.

Kaminari Japanese dumming ©Jess Astbury

Prolific York street musician Ed Alleyne-Johnson also atrracted large crowds with his impressive performances on his trusty purple electric violin. Young, local bands and older singers crooning into vintage microphones also put in appearances to entertain passers-by.

In fact, one of the best parts of the event was seeing what amazing local talent York has to offer. Regular street performers in York, such as Andrew Sumpton whose favourite tricks include juggling knives with a bag over his head, held their own against talent brought in from the rest of the country and abroad.

Ernest Magnifco, Australian resident and dare devil extraodinaire came halfway across the world to perform in the festival. With his mix of charisma and dangerous stunts he entertained the crowds around Parliament street and finished of his sets with a unique performance popping a large suspended balloon whilst pogoing with a fork attached to his helmet.

The rain on Sunday was very unfortunate, meaning that many shoppers stayed at home and there was low footfall on streets with some busking pitches empty. However, with the help of marquees some buskers were able to relocate indoors so the event could continue in a more subdued manner.

It was clear from the bemused look of passers-by that many had accidentally stumbled across the event on their Saturday shopping trips. However, whether inadvertently or not, the number of gathered crowds spoke of the enjoyment of the event by both residents and visitors. The high density of performers at the weekend was a welcome addition to the city, entertaining shoppers and effectively representing the very high standard of buskers we have in York.

Voting for the best performer occurred throughout the day at the HomeSense stall on Parliament Square, which also housed family-friendly activities such as face painting. The winner will be announced soon and will win a £250 HomeSense gift card.



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