My involvement in some upcoming organized busking events in and around the Berkshires has started me thinking as to whether the people of Pittsfield would be for or against the practice of busking taking place on the street corners of Pittsfield. In case you are wondering, the events I’m referring to are “Berkshire Busk” which is taking place on Friday and Saturday evenings in Great Barrington through the end of August, and the “BuskStop” all day busking event taking place on August 14th in Torrington, CT as part of the Litchfield Hills Creative Festival.  

Let me back up a bit. If you are not familiar with the term “busking”, it’s basically the practice of musicians, and in many cases, other types of performers, playing music (or performing) on street corners and in front of local businesses for tips.  

If you would like to know more about it, check out this cute and informative video that my friend Adelaide Punkin put out earlier this year on the history of busking.  

(Video used by permission of the 'Punkin Tube' YouTube Channel)

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As a musician, I have always played with bands, and I was never really that interested in busking, but it occurred to me recently that I’ve been exposed to it all my life. I’ve just never really paid that much attention to it. In my travels to New York City as a kid and even now I’ve seen (and still see) buskers performing on city street corners and in subway stations all the time. I’ve grown to appreciate it. This got me thinking. Would people here, in my adopted home of Pittsfield, appreciate or be annoyed by street performers in downtown Pittsfield? I would love to know what people think about this.  

I wouldn’t know where to start in organizing it, but could it be done successfully in Pittsfield? Would some sort of “license” to busk be required and maybe some guidance and rules set forth by the city be needed? Personally, I find busking quite charming, and I think it could add some life to our city streets if it’s done effectively and safely.  

What do you think?  

Find out more about the Torrington BuskStop and the performers taking part at the Rock Yer Block Facebook page, HERE.

Find out more about Berkshire Busk and the performers taking part at the Berkshire Busk Facebook page, HERE.


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