Used to busk, on a good day sometimes made quite a lot of money
On the other hand, most days what I made was hardly worth the effort.
And then there were the three times when the hat was nicked and the occasion when the guitar and my wallet went with it (I wasn't arguing with three blokes all bigger than me even in broad daylight in a busy town centre)
Dunno about Australia
and elsewhere but in England
these days "street entertainment" as it's now known is, like everything else in life, regulated. To busk in most places in England
, if you're allowed to do it at all, you need a permit from the local authority. Some towns are more easy going than others but most times you'll get moved on fairly rapidly by the police and if they see you again that day you'll get a warning and then you only carry on if you fancy a free visit to the local nick!
We used to do a lot of impromptu sessions in pubs and pass the hat which was generally more sucessful than standing on a street corner but that's pretty much gone by the board these days too. There ain't so many pubs where it's on these days (they're more interested in selling food
than beer) and bleedin' rules and regs get in the way as well
There's people who'll tell you that you can make £100 a day busking. Well yeah, once in a blue moon you might but most days you'll be bloody lucky to make a fiver. I used to reckon it a good day if three hours or so turned up enough for 20 fags and a coupla beers
Coupla tips - salt
the hat (eg; put a couple of quid in small coins in it to start off) and if you're doing well trouser the coins fairly regularly leaving just enough in the hat to match what you started with. If you've got too much in there it's a tempting target for opportunist theives
Pocket any and all notes straight away! There's nothing gonna ruin you're day more than watching a tenner sail off down the high street with no bloody chance of catching it (s'truth, it happened to a mate of mine)
And don't busk if you're no good. You don't need a huge repertoire but you'll only make money if you're actually able to play and sing (if singing is your thing). The High Street is *not* the place to learn new tunes, stick to the stuff you can play really
Oh yeah, keyboards. Hmmm. Not great for busking. Accordion perhaps? The ideal busking instrument needs no power, no amplification and is light enough to pick up and run with!