From Ed Sheeran to Beck, many of the world’s biggest music stars started their career as buskers – and now Tullamore D.E.W. is celebrating the talent and courageous spirit of a new generation of street musicians with the launch of ‘Busking Unbarred’.
With live music embedded in its Irish roots, Tullamore D.E.W. has joined forces with The Busking Project, an organisation which supports buskers around the world, to launch Busking Unbarred, which will help grow appreciation for artists who are brave enough to bare their souls on the streets, often in the face of increasing restrictions from authorties.
With many successful musicians busking early in their careers, and social media and digital music platforms allowing buskers to reach wider audiences, the landscape and perceptions of busking have changed dramatically. Busking Unbarred, which launches this week and runs throughout the year, will shine the spotlight on this new era of busking.
Busking Unbarred will see free downloads of tracks by 10 talented buskers from across the UK and Ireland available to consumers purchasing Tullamore D.E.W. in bars across the UK. The buskers and their music are promoted on the Busking Unbarred website at http://www.Tullamoredew.com/busking and the busker whose track received the most downloads will be rewarded with time in a professional recording studio to create their next album.
Tullamore D.E.W. will also be bringing buskers and their music to a wider audience by staging a series of Busking Unbarred guerilla gigs in bars in London, Leeds and Edinburgh, shining the spotlight on musicians who play their songs on the streets.
The 10 Busking Unbarred artists, who have been handpicked by Tullamore D.E.W. and The Busking Project, include Ray Scully and The Fitzafrenic, both from Dublin, Charlotte Campbell from London, Adam Kadabra from Glasgow and Jen & The Gents from Edinburgh.
Nick Broad, founder of The Busking Project, said: “Busking is the only completely non-exclusive art form, anexpression of the human spirit and an act of freedom.It’s the most common way that artists can further their careers, practice their art and do what they love – and yet more and more regulations are being introduced by authorities, which threaten their livelihood.
“There’s a strong tradition of busking in Irish culture and it’s great to be working with Tullamore D.E.W. on Busking Unbarred to showcase and support some of the UK and Ireland’s greatest busking talents.”
The Beat of The Street Report
In addition to Busking Unbarred, Tullamore D.E.W. and The Busking Project have also produced The Beat of The Street Report, the first investigation of its kind into the health of busking around the world.
From the town squares of Ancient Rome to the streets of modern Dublin, busking is one of the oldest and most resilient forms of performance. A vibrant busking scene can help revitalise city centres, whichhave been damaged by factors such as the recession and online shopping, but more cities are introducing legislation to regulate busking and control the way in which public space is used.
The Beat of TheStreet Report, commissioned by Tullamore D.E.W. and written by The Busking Project, evaluates the different busking approaches and policies of 35 cities across the world and looks at the part busking can play in today’s urban environment and how it can be protected and strengthened for the future.
The findings of the Report have been used to form an accompanying policy paper (written by the Busking Project) – A future direction for the governance of busking in public places.