Chiswick Musicians of All Ages Urged to Take To The Streets
And help set busking record by donating earnings to Musequality
Chiswick musicians of any age, any sort – professional, amateur, rock bands or baroque troops – and their family and friends, wherever they are in the world, are being urged to take part in the first annual Musequality World Busk between Monday, 8th June and Sunday, 14th June.
On Sunday 14th June, a school-free day, Musequality hopes young musicians in particular will get involved – and help set a record for the biggest coordinated busk the world has ever seen.
“You can busk on any day during the week wherever you are, not just in Chiswick,” explained Chiswick resident David Juritz, who founded Musequality by busking round the world two years ago. “All you have to do is choose a busking spot, get permission to busk there (usually an easy process), decide what to play and how you will play it and … get fundraising. If you want to take part in the biggest coordinated busk in the world, you need to busk at noon and for at least 25 minutes on the Sunday,” he added.
“We will also be holding a mass busk – details to be announced on the day – during the Bedford Park Festival, on Acton Green, as part of the world’s biggest busk. The Festival is the single most important community day in Chiswick. It is also hugely important to Musequality – it gave me a terrific send off for my round the world busk to launch Musequality, it made us one of the Festival’s official charities last year, and now they are giving us a platform for the world busk. We are very grateful to them. The mass busk should be great fun in a fun-packed Festival; we hope lots of Chiswickians – and Festival-goers from elsewhere – will join in.
Musequality funds communal music projects for disadvantaged children in developing countries, giving them a chance to discover the skills, self-esteem and confidence they need to turn their lives around. It currently supports five projects – two in Kampala, Uganda; one in Soweto and one in Cape Town, South Africa; one in northern Thailand – and is fundraising for a project in Goa, India.
"Busking is great fun,” David explained. “All you need is a bit of bottle – and young buskers, especially, will also need a bottler (someone who collects money from the audience) to accompany them and keep them safe.
"Busking is also a great leveller. People make assumptions – that buskers are beggars and somehow therefore don't deserve support – just as they do about street children in the developing world. But many well-known musicians busked when starting out. It's a great way to get better known and build confidence.
"If you can accept the indifference of some passers by and carry on performing, regardless of the rejection you'll feel, the pleasure you'll experience when someone stops to listen appreciatively is as good as a standing ovation in a world-class concert hall.
"Performing music in a group is about much more than learning to sing or play an instrument. It's the ultimate in teamwork and a fantastic way for kids to develop the confidence, self-esteem and other skills they need in life. For disadvantaged kids in developing countries, those skills will help lift them off the streets and out of poverty. While its educational advantages have been well documented, research shows that active participation in music offers huge benefits in social and emotional wellbeing as well. It really does change lives."
David continued: "Children in our projects talk about the difficulties they face: the prejudice that, because they have nothing, they are worth nothing, and the assumption that they cannot possibly make a contribution to their society.
"Yet, when you ask them, their ambitions are the same as ours: they want to improve their lives and be known for being good at something. One young boy in one of our African projects wants to be a journalist so he can write about the problems of children and help them. Another, a girl, wants to be an economist. Without being given the chance to turn their lives around, many children in the developing world face a life on the streets and risk drifting into drug culture, violence and crime. We'd like to give them the chance they are looking for."
To sign up to the busk visit www.worldbusk.org. The website also includes tips and guidance to help musicians – particularly first time buskers – plan a safe, hassle-free busk.
If you can’t join in the fun but want to support Musequality by making a donation, visit: www.justgiving.com/worldbusk.