London leads global busking celebration with festival at Wembley Park
Performers in cities across six continents are to unite with musicians in London for a celebration of busking and street performance. The Mayor of London has announced that on Saturday 21 July cities from Sydney to Reykjavik and Tokyo to Rio will follow London’s lead and showcase their busking talent at celebrations to mark the third International Busking Day.
This global showcase of talent is part of an initiative established by the Mayor and builds on the success of the Busk in London programme and Gigs busking competition.
In London the internationally renowned artist Newton Faulkner will perform at Wembley Park alongside international and home-grown busking talent, with more names to be announced ahead of the festival.
The main event will be held outside The SSE Arena in Wembley, the leading music venue at the heart of Brent, which has been named the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture for 2020.
A free and family friendly day of celebrations in Wembley will feature music, circus and dance. There will be the chance to get involved and learn a new busking skill with a dance participation session, loop pedal clinic, guitar tutorial and a circus skill session available throughout the day.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London has one of the most vibrant and diverse busking scenes in the world. This will be a great day for families across the city – and around the world – to get together and enjoy a fantastic showcase of the city’s talent, music and street performances.
“We are joining forces with other great cities to show that buskers make a huge contribution to creativity and culture. Ahead of Brent becoming London Borough of Culture in 2020, this celebration will play an important role in inspiring the next generation of musical talent in London, and goes to show that creativity is in every corner of our city.”
Busking has increased in popularity over the years and many up and coming artists see it as a way to develop their performance skills, engage with a new audience and to earn money. Through the universal language of music, International Busking Day at Wembley Park is about celebrating and supporting the talent we hear on our streets and showcasing the very best in live music in a free public setting.
Newton Faulkner said: “Busking is the soundtrack to the underground and the streets, it’s part of living in London. I don’t think the city would be the same without it.”
Nina Nesbitt, singer-songwriter, said: “I can’t wait to play at International Busking Day 2018. I started out with just my guitar and being from near Edinburgh I was always surrounded by buskers during the festivals. I'm excited to take part this year!”
James Saunders, Chief Operating Officer at Wembley Park, said: “We are thrilled to welcome International Busking Day into its new home at Wembley Park, showcase talent from around the world as well as right here in Brent. It forms part of our ambitious multi-year cultural strategy for Wembley Park as we create London’s newest creative district.”
Councillor Muhammed Butt, Brent London Borough Council, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to host International Busking Day in Wembley Park and celebrate busking and street performance. I hope it will give audiences, both on the ground in Brent, or joining in around the world, a taste of what’s to come as we warm up for Brent Borough of Culture 2020.”
International Busking Day is just one element of an exciting summer of busking activity at Wembley Park. Throughout the summer, visitors, residents and workers will be treated to performances by Busk in London performers, with competitors taking part in the Mayor of London’s Gigs competition – which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2018. Wembley Parlk’s Summer of Play programme will present more than 300 hours of free entertainment, as London’s newest creative district comes alive with music, magic, comedy, physical theatre, living statues and dance. In addition, Wembley Park will host a free Busk in London Academy day, where musicians of all ages can learn more about the music industry.
Notes to editors
International Busking Day began in 2016 in locations around the world where, on one day, people come together to enjoy performances. In Wembley, the official global destination for International Busking Day, there will be a live map and social media feeds keeping visitors updated on the busking performances taking place around the globe.
The Summer of Play initiative is part of the ambitious cultural strategy for this £3 billion, 85-acre redevelopment in northwest London, adding to the headline music and sporting events for which the area is internationally known. Wembley Park is also delivering a public art programme, London’s largest Boxpark to date and affordable artist studios alongside 7,500 new homes.
For media opportunities on the day advance media accreditation is essential, please contact Four Communications:
Caroline Jones | [email protected] | +44 (0)20 3907 8926