For the first time in as long as I can remember, the Elmwood Festival of the Arts had two full days of sunshine without a cloud in the sky – perfect weather for artists of all sorts. As much as I found the various artists’ works a draw, I was particularly interested to see all of the buskers who set up throughout the show. There was a young violinist at Ferry, a guitar player at Breckenridge, a magician at Cleveland, and so on. At every corner there was some sort of entertainment. The diversity of the musicians was fascinating, as was the crowd’s reaction to each.
The sight of all of the different musicians brought me back to a conversation that I had earlier in the year with various people who were looking to spice up commercial districts. I’ll be throwing a few of the spin-off ideas out there throughout the week, starting with one where designated busking stands would be set up at areas of artistic interest. For example, commission The Griffis Family to construct a music sheet stand out of metal (with a shelf to place a hat) at Elmwood Village Park where buskers can set up to play and people can safely gather to listen. There could be various stands constructed that would help to promote the artists who often times get booted from place to place (whether they have permits or not).
We’re starting to see more and more roaming artists around the city. Thankfully we are embracing them for the most part. By incorporating artistic designed busking stations into everyday city life, Buffalo would be helping to promote a scene that has taken root and is looking to grow.