In Seattle one of the spots that people street perform is at the Pike Place Market. The challenge there is there is a permit system and a lot of rules. However if you cross the street you are still in an area with high tourist traffic and there are no rules.
I was just down there and across the street from the Pike Place Market on the corner, there was a crazy set up for a band doing a street show!
The band didn’t even fit on the corner, they spilled out onto the street. The have their own power supply, five speakers and even a giant umbrella! This is some next level street performing, you can hear them blocks away!
One of the things with most street performers is the ability to be mobile. The time it takes to set up is time you could be performing, I’m going to imagine this set up is a pain to unload from the car and build before you start performing, then you have to take it down at the end of the day. Then you factor in that there are 3-4 people involved and everyone gets a piece of the hat. I’m curious how long they can do this and still be profitable AND how long before they get a ticket for being in the street. They’re set up at a busy intersection.
I do like that they’re doing what they need to do to bring their art to the people! -Louie
At the end of the day yesterday, I mentioned to my contact in the event production that having all tables up front isn’t really conducive to doing a show. It may work for more ambient things like music, but not for an interactive show that people need to pay attention to. I also mentioned the giant speakers on stage, and how the took out usable performing area. Their 16 foot wide stage, only had 8 feet of usable space. I think showing them this picture of a band on that stage helped get my point across:
The poor keyboard player was buried in the behind the speaker. I was told the the speakers wouldn’t move, and I’ll need to figure out how to work around them. In a compromise, if I figured out how to do my show with the speakers onstage, they would give me some benches up front and take out the front two tables.
To my surprise, this is what I walked into this morning:
The benches made a world of difference! It gives me a place for my anchor crowd to sit. Once I have that group, I can win over the people with their backs to me at the tables…or I can walk those people as they’ll realize that sitting and chatting at the tables isn’t easy during my show. Once I walk the people that don’t want to watch my show, I can fill the space with people who do.
I’m hoping that people will see that I was right about the benches and maybe think my idea with moving the speakers (somehow) has some merit. I’ll revisit that conversation with production later in the week.