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SLC Hosts Second Annual Busker Fest

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Just a few paces down Regent St., a man was on the ground and wasn’t moving. On most nights downtown, that wouldn’t be a good thing.

On second glance, though, the man was conscious, breathing and alert and the only help he seemed to need was to be moved from place to place.

A sign next to him read, “MOVE ME AROUND,” which several passersby started to do until the man suddenly was supporting himself in a headstand.

That was the kind of introduction many people had on this Friday night to the 2nd annual Busker Fest, a collection of over 100 street acts and performers who convened to celebrate their craft and a bygone era.

“A ‘busker’ is just somebody who performs on the street in a public venue for tips,” said Lydia Martinez, one of the organizers of the event. “This area once upon a time was full of vaudeville theatres, and so we’re kind of bringing back that history of Vaudeville and performance and street performance right here to the heart of downtown Salt Lake City.”

The one-night fest boasted a variety of acts, from puppeteers to comedians and from magicians to musicians.

“Street performers are welcome in Salt Lake City, buskers are welcome in Salt Lake City,” Martinez said. “We’re trying to give buskers a platform but also show our local community how you treat and interact with buskers.”

Pam Frinkman said she enjoyed the change of pace.

“I think people need to interact in a face-to-face way and increasingly we don’t do that, so I like to have reasons to interact,” she said.

Paris LeLaCheur, who showed up to the event in stilts to entertain onlookers, said he also was grateful for the venue.

“It’s an old art that we’re trying to bring back that’s very communal,” LeLaCheur said. “If we get a lot of the kids to smile, laugh, go home and have a good time, then that’s the best thing for us.”

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