Bringing busking to Launceston parks, reserves

SIGHTS ON SOUND: Blooming Tasmania committee chair Jane Teniswood is advocating for City Park to be opened for buskers to perform. Picture: Phillip Biggs
SIGHTS ON SOUND: Blooming Tasmania committee chair Jane Teniswood is advocating for City Park to be opened for buskers to perform. Picture: Phillip Biggs

Jane Teniswood wants Launceston’s parks and reserves to be filled with the sound of busking musicians.

The Blooming Tasmania committee chair is advocating for the city’s green areas to be opened up to buskers to showcase their talent.

Mrs Teniswood said busking musicians could be a real attraction during some events, such as Blooming Tasmania’s annual plant and garden festival, adding to a lovely experience for interstate and international visitors.

“But when we tried to explore this a bit further, we were just notified that were restrictions where people could busk and we understood you were not able to busk in City Park,” Mrs Teniswood said.

Hosting buskers in Launceston’s parks and reserves would “surround the festival with music”.

When the council granted the committee’s festival funding application this year, Mrs Teniswood said money was set aside specifically to hire musicians to enable them to play in the park.

“It’s about finding new talent and allowing them to become part of our process.”

Blooming Tasmania committee chair Jane Teniswood

Blooming Tasmania committee chair Jane Teniswood

“We’d love to have [buskers] around City Park and, if possible, in all the other parks so as the international and interstate guests are walking around the city, they’re surrounded by wonderful music, particularly encouraging young people as part of the performance.”

“Launceston has a very strong arts scene and we want to tap into that.”

City of Launceston acting general manager Michael Tidey said buskers generally preferred high-traffic locations around the central business district, and traditionally did not receive requests for busking in parks and reserves.

“Probably because foot traffic passing by is more spread out, meaning less chance of earning a dollar, and also perhaps because members of the public may not be as appreciative as they might be, in the hustle and bustle of the CBD, if their pleasant afternoon stroll through the park is impacted by a clarinet cover of Thunderstruck,” he said.

Cityprom, the organisation which oversees busking in the CBD, has a code of conduct for busking, detailing the two designated busking areas in the city’s centre, which were regulated sites.

He welcomed event organisers or others with specific ideas they would like to progress to speak with the council.

“The facilities we provide for busking are just a very small part of our overall support for the arts, but we're pleased to provide them and happy to discuss them with anyone who is interested in finding out more."