mardi 30 juillet 2013

Busking in Namur

The first stop of my busking tour was the city of Namur in Belgium, where the rivers Sambre and Meuse meet.
I didn't find much information about busking in Namur before getting there but I knew there was the old town north of the river, and usually old towns have walking streets, which are the best for busking, as you have much passage and little noise from traffic. Plus if they want to people can stop and listen very easily.

I happened to arrive there at the beginning of the week, and so my busking days were on monday and tuesday, which is far from ideal. As I feared the streets weren't too crowded, and as it happens the most crowded shopping streets wasn't a walking one, which is saft for that was where most of the people were, as usual.

The only other place that seemed worth it was a square next to a church right in the middle of the old town, with people gathered around terasses for drinks. Normally this wouldn't be my first choice for two reasons: the first reason is that squares are usually quite noisy and there aren't any acoustics to take advantage of when doing an non-implified gig; the second one is that I don't like to feel like I'm imposing on people or anything, and whenever possible I respect their right to drink or eat in silence if they wish to do so, after all maybe they don't care much for music and are looking for a bit of calm and quiet.

But this time I made an exception for I was out of options, and the square seemed big enough so that my acoustic set wouldn't be so loud as to annoy anyone. I was actually worried that it wasn't going to be loud enough!

This was a tough start to my busking tour: I didn't get anything at all for my first 10 to 15 minutes of busking, which is kind of tough! But as any busker will tell you the key to successfull busking is patience and perseverance: you can't let this kind of situation bring you down!

And finally after a while money started to flow in regularly and it was an honest session in terms of income: Although I didn't count exactly how much I made I guessed around 25 euros for a bit less than 2 hours, wich is ok, without being great. I even got one of the wiaters at the tables of the terasses to contribute, which comforted me in the idea that what I was doing was appreciated, and that I wasn't being a nuisance basically!!! Who knows I might even have brought in some extra customers for them too, as quite a few people came to sat down at the tables closest to me to listen in :)

A nice thing about this particular gig too was this other busking girl I met passing buy, can't remember her name though I'm terrible at that, who sat in to jam a little. We did a couple of blues improvisations as she had a fantastic voice for it!

So all in all Namur turned out just fine for busking, I didn't enquire about permits and stuff like that to busk and it was ok, no one bothered me or said anything. I think it can be an even better busking location on the weekend.

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