Busking is a beautiful and spontaneous form of art that enriches Sydney’s streets, yet buskers are seemingly disappearing. In my feature article I want to explore why Sydney’s busking conditions are dire: due to council regulations, mistrust of buskers often based on cultural beliefs, the public’s opinion about buskers’ talent and work ethic as well as the fact that Sydney is moving towards becoming a cashless economy where people don’t have spare change no matter how much they enjoy the show. The feature will however end on a lighter and more positive note, mentioning ideas of how busking can be revolutionised to better suit our modern society as well as what measures are currently being taken to celebrate the Sydney busking scene, such as the Busk for a Cure festival on May 26th in Newtown (which makes the article timely and relevant).
Publication & Target User Group
I will pitch this story to “Good Weekend” magazine, which is inserted in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age every Saturday, attracting an even male/female readership of 1 million, entailing “stories that define the times we live in and are essential reading for those seeking to be on top of culture and debate“. I believe my story fits this description perfectly, as busking is a matter of culture and debate, being a somewhat controversial but nevertheless culturally valuable and enriching profession, and the story angle (modern struggles of busking) is focused precisely on „the times we live in“.
Narrative Genre & Sources of Information
I chose the narrative genre of a feature because it allows me to focus on central characters and let them tell their stories. The idea is to follow one or two buskers around on a day when they go perform on the street, “a day in the life”-style, and interview them about their personal experiences, opinions and ideas. This means that my story angle may vary depending on what I learn from talking to and observing them. I will also interview Helmut Uhlmann, the founder and organiser of Busk for a Cure, as a best practice example of supporting and encouraging local busking.
Furthermore I will try to get some statistics on the Sydney busking scene from the Sydney City Council, in order to see whether the scene is expanding or not, as well as what people’s opinions were on busking when a discussion was opened to the public in 2017.
Lastly, I will work with some online news articles that talk about new ideas for busking, such as busking for bitcoin or auditioning processes.
Ideas for multimedia/hypertext/interactivity
Apart from using hyperlinks to direct readers to news sources, I want to work with pictures and videos of the buskers I interview, following them from set-up, to street performance, to finally the festival. For interactivity, I would also like to integrate a Street View Google Map for the Busk for a Cure festival, which lets the reader see the surroundings of the busker and see the audience from their point of view.