Buskers young and old get in tune for festival

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Central Otago is ready to rock at the inaugural Alexandra Buskers Festival.
Three days of music will run alongside the Thyme Festival from October 31 to November 2.
Central Otago District Mayor Tim Cadogan will launch the festival with a performance.
Amy Blair (12), of Alexandra, is looking forward to taking part in the festival. She and a friend tried busking for the first time a couple of months ago, performing outside a cafe on Centennial Ave.
‘‘There were a couple of people listening, so it was good.’’
She was ‘‘a bit nervous’’ performing, but thought taking part in the busking festival would give her more experience and teach her how to be ‘‘more relaxed around people’’.
Amy said when she was younger she thought all ‘‘great singers like Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez were really good and they didn’t have to practise.’’
But now she knew ‘‘it’s a lot harder than it looks, ’cause to be a singer you have to be creative, you have to have something you want to write about.’’
‘‘There is no formula, it is just creativity.’’
The festival has been organised by the Central Otago District Arts Trust and the Central Otago Music Inclusive Club.
Co-organiser Denis Litchfield said the aim was to encourage people young and old to fill the main streets of Alexandra with creative performance.
A wide range of performers were encouraged to take part, from guitarists to street walkers, poetry readers and living statues.
‘‘It is all about getting art out into the street, so when people walk down the street there is something to make them smile,’’ he said.
There was ‘‘a lot of talent’’ in Central Otago of all ages, Mr Litchfield said.
Busking helped people gain confidence in front of an audience.
Young people could collaborate, so they didn’t have to play for an hour — instead several could get together and play a few songs each, he said.
A number of designated areas on the main streets of Alexandra would be assigned to performers, with performances at 11am to noon, and 1pm to 2pm daily.