Forum Banner

Is busking still busking if you don't ask for tips?

I have been wondering recently if it's still busking if you don't ask for tips. France has great street festivals in every small town, but it discourages true busking.

If you got paid to do your busking show changing nothing except that you were not allowed to ask for tips would it be the same thing?

What do you think?
  • No. In that case it's a gig. I'm sure that the person paying the busker has expectations regarding timeliness, appearance/dress, and possibly song choice.
  • It's interesting because it's the exact same work, but without a hat out. Sometimes the same amount of pay. Why is where that pay comes from so essential to the definition?
  • As far as we (The Busking Project) is concerned, it's a gig. If someone's paying you they essentially own the act you're doing, including the right to ban you if they don't like your stuff, schedule you, choose where you can perform, for how long etc etc.

    It might be the same SHOW, but I don't think it's the same WORK. If it were, then you could say that Ed Sheeran or Glen Hansard (or whomever) are still busking on stage, right?
  • Is the stage on the street?
  • I'm not very keen on the laws in France, But I know that In the US, as long as you don't ask for any money (No hat or open case), then you have the right to perform in the public. Its considered as an artistic form of free speech, and its protected by the 1st amendment.
  • Frequently, I busk for smiles. Not for money. And if I do get any money, i toss it into the buckets of other buskers. Mostly, as I´m in Colombia, and people don´t really give that much to street performers anyway... and I like to share the music in public.
  • edited April 2017
    I agree that if someone is actually paying you (not tips, but actual pay) then it is a gig. The difference is that if someone is paying you, you lose control of the show. They will tell you where, when, and how you play. They can even tell you how to dress, pick your setlist, etc...., even if it is on public property, if someone is paying you, then they acquire a certain amount of control in order for you to collect.

    Busking, on the other hand, is all about you. You play what you want, how you want, as long as you do not violate the law or ordinances of your location. People are free to tip, or not to tip, as they see fit, and they can listen, or move on. It has no effect on your performance.
Sign In or Register to comment.