Amanda Palmer, a musician who has been called the “DIY Queen”, and whose rise through the Indie music industry has inspired countless musicians has this to say about busking in her book “The Art of Asking”:
I highly recommend street performing over attending a conservatory to any musician, especially if they’re going into rock and roll: it wears your ego down to stubbly little nubs and give you performance balls of steel.
Street performers occupy performance spaces that don’t come with permission or validation from anyone. If you can navigate the fear, the vulnerability, and the self doubt that comes with putting yourself on display (in some cases more literally than others) then you’ll be rewarded with the magic of finding your audience – your people – in the midst of strangers. Through years of busking I’ve found that following 3 cardinal rules kept me not only performing longer, but making true connections and garnering more tips and income.
I began performing on street corners in the fall of 2013 so I feel like at this point I have a good handle on how to work a crowd. But oh boy did Vegas change that opinion fast. When we decided to spend December and January in Las Vegas I knew I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on the Strip. As fun as the Strip can be for tourists it’s not a great place to perform. You get to share the area with a ton of other people soliciting in a giant mass of humanity, and there are legal issues and strict regulations against performances and other kinds of ‘solicitation’. Not a great recipe for violin busking. Fremont Street however, had all the makings of a great busking space.