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Author Topic: Busquing?  (Read 3692 times)

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Offline Dev

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Busquing?
« on: July 21, 2009, 09:49:13 AM »
Is it within etiquette to busque at a faire?

busque = street performance; in a faire setting, playing an instrument (or singing) in hopes that passer-bys would put money in your hat.

There are people who do this at PRF but I'm not sure if they are staff or playtrons.  It seems like a nice idea, but I wouldn't want to do it and unknowingly upstage the staff who are SUPPOSED to be there.

Offline Serenity

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Re: Busquing?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2009, 10:11:11 AM »
Check with your faire management.  MDRF prohibits any such performances.  The quote on the website states:

"All performers are paid by the King's purse and scheduled by the Artistic Director. No uncontracted performances are permitted."

This probably varies by faire, so I would start by checking the website and contacting the people in charge.

Best of luck!
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Offline renfairephotog

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Re: Busquing?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 10:39:16 AM »
The larger fairs will prohibit it for the reasons you state. They don't  want to take attention or tips away from the acts they pay. Plus they don't want to be responsible legally for an act that's not under contract.

It might be easier to do at the smaller events but contact them and ask first.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 11:34:48 PM by renfairephotog »
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Offline Capt Robertsgrave Thighbiter

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Re: Busquing?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2009, 11:20:22 AM »
I cant see any faire allowing patrons to set up shope on the streets of thier shire and beg.   If you want to busk,  either get a hold of the faire music director or equal and get hired / permission or find a place adjacent to the faire on property they dont own and try it.
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Offline aerial angels

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Re: Busquing?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2009, 10:47:16 PM »
No, it is not within etiquette. You will be asked to stop and possibly asked to leave the festival. The people you saw work there and have contracts that allow them to do so. Random unplanned acts step on existing schedules of which they are not aware, so it is in fact rude as well as not allowed.

Busking is tricky in the United States. All renaissance festivals are private events on private property and they all control who is allowed to perform in any way, including whether or not performers pass the hat or otherwise accept tips for their performance.

In many public places, it is ok to busk - but not all. Some places, like Seattle's Pike Place Market, have a permit system and you must register. Other places, like Kansas City's Country Club Plaza, look like public property but are actually private property. Some places are public space without restrictions on busking.

It's actually easier to busk in Canada and Europe (but not the UK). Ironically, it's our First Amendment rights that cause the restrictions on street performers in many communities. The challenge is that many communities wish to ban begging/panhandling - and if you restrict people from asking for money, you have to restrict EVERYONE from asking for money - a community can't make a law that says, "this way to ask for money is OK and this way to ask for money is not OK" because it's a First Amendment violation.

If you want to perform at a faire, call them up, send in your audition material, and please, please - PLEASE - ask to be paid. Even if it's $25. Even if it's food coupons. One free day or weekend as an "audition" is totally within bounds. But don't work a whole faire for free, because when you show up willing to work for just tips, you teach the festival management that entertainment doesn't have to be paid.

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Re: Busquing?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009, 06:59:31 AM »
Which PRF are you referring to - Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire or Pittsburg Renaissance Faire? I know it is not allowed at PA and none of the acts except the mud beggars collect tips. The acts you see on the streets at PA are cast or independent performers that are under contract with the faire. I dont know about Pittsburg; I've never been able to make it over there.

Offline groomporter

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Re: Busquing?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2009, 08:12:33 AM »
I've heard of some fairs even frowning on non-participants playing music at all regardless of whether they busque since it blurs the line between who's a participant and who's a patron.

At MNRF only acts that have it specifically written into their contracts have what is locally called "Hat Pass Privileges"
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Offline Dev

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Re: Busquing?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2009, 12:16:37 PM »
Which PRF are you referring to - Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire or Pittsburg Renaissance Faire? I know it is not allowed at PA and none of the acts except the mud beggars collect tips. The acts you see on the streets at PA are cast or independent performers that are under contract with the faire. I dont know about Pittsburg; I've never been able to make it over there.

Pittsburgh.

That I know of, there is a girl there every year who plays violin near the gate, no tips.  I think she's definitely cast.

There was someone else who was playing a recorder by the vendors, who obviously had a hat for tips, but there is a possibility she could have been cast.

Someone else plays a small harp, also by the vendors, but doesn't seem to take tips.

Offline Terry Griffith

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Re: Busquing?
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2009, 12:55:42 AM »
As a Pittsburgh Ren Fest stage act, I can definitely tell you that any and all busking there is done under contract.  You would be asked to leave the festival grounds if you did it without a specific agreement with the management.  You will see a lot of music in the lanes at PRF this year but they are all under contract.  Some areas of the faire will be appropriate for hat and some are not.  Adjacent to any stage is not.  Personally, I don't mind buskers in the lanes.  If they are good enough to jeopardise my hat, then they should be a stage act.  It's hard enough to make good hat with an audience seated in front of you for a whole set.  People who pass by in the lanes don't usually contribute because it is customary to contribute to the hat of a stage performer and they save their pounds for that.  A faire owner who wants the atmosphere provided by street musicians will audition and contract them.  They may not be willing to pay what you think you deserve so they give you hat rights to let you prove your worth.  If you start making more in hat than the stage acts, next season you may be offered a stage.

If you have the confidence in your abilities, go for it but you must be approved by the management first.

All the best.
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