BuSK app launches in London; No need for spare change – new BuSK app lets public make cashless donations and connect with street performers

M2 PressWIRE |

The BuSK app launches today with a lunchtime street performance at the Southbank. Created by The Busking Project with support from Tech for Good funder Nominet Trust, the app promises to transform the way we engage with buskers and other street artists.

With the average Brit carrying less cash in their pockets than ever before, buskers are finding it increasingly difficult to survive. To tackle this problem, BuSK allows street performers to receive secure, cashless payments via a credit or debit card. No more scrambling in bags and pockets for loose coins, and electronic donations make it easier for artists to track payments. Members of the public can also use the app to hire buskers for gigs and keep in touch with upcoming performances.

With the demise of the CD and explosion of digital streaming services decimating revenues, busking has become more important than ever for aspiring artists.

In response, many independent artists have turned to busking to make up for lost income, although recent crackdowns by a number of local councils have added additional pressures - earlier this year the Dublin City Council voted in favour of bylaws that impose an 80 decibel limit on street performances and could see buskers face compulsory council auditions.

According to Nick Broad, founder of The Busking Project, "We should be celebrating our buskers, as street performances not only benefit the artist, but have knock on positive benefits; invigorating towns and cities." He adds that, "There is a lot of misunderstanding about street performers. The old joke is that buskers are 'beggars with a gimmick', but Ed Sheeran, Pierce Brosnan and KT Tunstall all started off as buskers. What we are trying to do with BuSK is to show that being a street performer is a legitimate and accessible way of earning a living."

Vicki Hearn, Director, Nominet Trust adds, "As the world moves online, how do we ensure that excluded groups don't get left further behind? It is vital that independent live performers, who are often financially and digitally excluded, are also able to benefit from the frictionless micropayments used by larger enterprises. We're proud to support the development of the BuSK app that helps appreciative audiences to find and tip great local and live performers worldwide."

To illustrate the wider social and economic benefits of busking, BuSK will also collect data on the impact buskers have on tourists, commuters and local business in London.

The Busking Project's aim is to use this data to convince more local authorities to open up their cities to street performers and encourage a lively busking ecosystem. "Our motto", Nick Broad continues, "is 'Gain Fans, Get Paid, Avoid Arrest'. These are the three pressing needs for street performers in the 21st Century."

Busk launches in London today and is also available in the USA, Canada, Australia and across the EU, with further country launches planned for 2016.

The app was developed by Nick Broad and Liliana Maz at The Busking Project, a documentary and community network that aims to challenge negative stereotypes about buskers and showcase their talents as well as their contributions to the cultural fabric of cities like London. So far, 1629 buskers are part of the network in 633 cities in 70 countries around the world.

For more information, please visit http://busk.co

BuSK street celebrations will take place in London as follows:

Friday 4 December,

Southbank (Gabriel's Wharf)

Saturday 5 December

Trafalgar Square (near the steps)

Sunday 6 December

Leicester Square (by Coventry Street)

The celebrations will feature the following street artists and performers:

Charlotte Campbell - Singer/Songwriter

Mark Rothman - chainsaw juggling unicyclist

Mat Boden - Contortionist

Andrew Robertson - Sand sculptor

Marcelo Cervone - Saxophonist

Bevan Adams - Escapologist

Peter Leonard - Music/Loop Pedals

And several other performers will be performing in these locations at that time.

Press contacts:

shelley@pavlakopecna.com // +44 (0) 7802 753 653

pavla@pavlakopecna.com // +44 (0) 7702 805 887

Interviews:

Co-founder Nick Broad as well as all the performers mentioned above are available for interview.

Press info, images and videos:

http://busk.co/blog/press-room

Notes to editors

About The Busking Project

The Busking Project is the world's largest community of street performers. We promote, celebrate and defend buskers with advocacy work, a digital toolkit and engaging media. The Busking Project started off as an idea for a documentary back in 2010. We realized that buskers all over the world were being arrested for performing, and were at risk of dying out thanks to cashless payments. Our efforts are directed towards keeping busking alive in the 21st century.

http://www.busk.co

About Nominet Trust

Nominet Trust is the UK's leading Tech for Good funder. The Trust believes in harnessing the power of digital technology to improve lives and communities. A UK registered charity, Nominet Trust brings together, invests in and supports people committed to using digital technology to create social and economic value.

Nominet Trust has invested in hundreds of projects since its inception, providing business support as well as financial investment, seeking to connect projects to prospective partners who can help increase their reach and impact.

Nominet Trust is the charitable foundation of Nominet, the company responsible for running the .UK internet infrastructure. Nominet believes in the positive power of the internet, and with the money generated from the registration of web addresses ending in .uk, .org.uk, and .co.uk, Nominet is proud to be able to fund Nominet Trust's work.

www.nominettrust.org.uk

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