We’ve heard this argument before.

In fact, we’ve heard a lot of negative arguments about buskers. We’ve also dealt with how to answer those criticisms.

So here’s a more positive post on the benefits of busking.

Tourist reviews are PERFECT.

We checked out the The TripAdvisor reviews for Faneuil Hall Marketplace, one of the most iconic tourist destinations in America. It’s part of the Liberty tour, full of shops/stalls and also full of street performers.

We chose that spot because recently Faneuil Hall Marketplace management (Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation and the Merchants Association) have put in stupidly restrictive regulations, most likely attempting to force the buskers out.

So, what do the tourists say about buskers?

Good things (always).

Five Star Reviews of Faneuil Hall Marketplace

I only went through the first 60 reviews. Of them, 19 (as in, 30% of the five star reviews) said the street performers were either the best, or one of the best, reasons to go there. Almost 1/3 of the people giving the TOP rating talked about the street performers.

Four Star Reviews

I skipped the four-star reviews because you know what to expect from people who had a generally good time.

Three Star Reviews

Again, I only went through the first 60 reviews here, but here are the five quotes about buskers:

“The real fun here is people watching, and you can get some great photos of break dancers, performers, and the crowds enjoying themselves.”

“Some fairly talented street entertainers were performing standard street-fare.”

“The street performers were generally interesting, if you could catch a glimpse through the crush of people.”

“Typical Tourist Trap, but enjoyed people watching and street entertainers.”

Perhaps the most revealing of all:

“I’ve read all about the amazing street performers here but saw none today during my 4 hour visit 🙁 So disappointed.”

So, all positive about the buskers. The negative things people were saying were about the rest of their experience.

Two Star Reviews

In ALL of the two-star reviews, there were only three mentions of the street performers:

“The best part were the street entertainers, 3 or more shows at the time. You can spend all afternoon enjoying the show.”

“Go if you never been there but really just for the street performers.”

“The most appealing aspect of Faneuil Hall are the entertainers–jugglers, magicians, singers”

That’s people who gave FHM a generally poor rating, apart from the street performers, who were either the ONLY reason to go, or the “best” and “most appealing” aspect.

One Star Reviews

There is only one mention of street performers in all the one-star reviews. Was it negative? No. In fact, the commenter’s problem was that the buskers were so popular that it’s too crowded to enjoy a show.

So why was Faneuil Hall Marketplace getting such terrible reviews?

  • The food is too expensive
  • The food is bad
  • The shops sell cheap, overpriced trinkets
  • The place is just a shopping mall with no surprises
  • The history tour doesn’t have enough history

Conclusion: Are buskers good for tourism?

Yes. Argument over.

We didn’t find a single comment about the street performers was negative in roughly 200 reviews that we checked. In fact, even commenters who recommended against going to Faneuil Hall Marketplace generally enjoyed the street performers.

However, there was a common thread among almost all of the negative reviews: FHM is a tourist trap with bland, overpriced shops, food and stalls.

Buskers are the best reason to go.

So yes, they are GREAT for tourism.

If you’d like to do a similar study of TripAdvisor reviews of your pitch, do it yourself, then let us know what you find!