Until 2003 busking in the London Underground stations was illegal before Transport for London organized a scheme to show off the city’s talented musicians. With an audience of over 3.5 million passengers per day, who wouldn’t want that stage?
For the first time in two years the London Underground (LU) is accepting applications for a free, yet required busking license. Entertainers will be selected to audition for a panel of music industry professionals and members of the LU staff earning marks for ability, performance and originality. Once selected the licensed buskers are given a max of three, 2-hour time slots per week to perform in one of the 39 designated (and sponsored, oh how clever) busking posts in 25 stations across London. So far, over 600 applications are in the queue.
Click here for a little example of some darn good illegal busking.
Next time you pass a busker in the Tube, remember to toss in a coin or two and appreciate the joy to they bring to commuters on an otherwise dull journey.
And just in case your inner maestro is calling … applications are available to download and are due May 14th.
(Photos courtesy of Annie Mole)