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Busking in C-U - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
July 2nd, 2005
09:44 pm


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Busking in C-U
Having posted about it in a friend's journal has put a very small bee in my bonnet about the idea of busking.  I've never tried it, but I have the idea that if I could do it, it could be a good experience for me.  But to be able to perform in public without being completely smothered by feelings of self-consciousness, I need the assurance that it's OK -- not necessarily that I'm going to get an appreciative audience, but that I'm not going to run afoul of any sort of authority, and also not actively annoying other performers or businesses.

Does anyone in the C-U area know of a place where it would, clearly, be OK?

On a wider note, does anyone have practical advice about what material I can get away with singing?  I would technically be violating copyright on anything I sang that wasn't genuinely trad, but I have the feeling that no one would object to my stealing filk.  Am I off base here?  If I sing something that is copyright by a major label with my guitar case open for tips, will the RIAA's crack copyright stormtroopers leap from the bushes, smash my guitar, and slip my name onto the terrorist watch list?

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(4 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:July 3rd, 2005 06:19 am (UTC)
What about at a park? Or maybe see if you could do it, say, at the farmer's market?

I would think that you could get away with most stuff, given the size audience and the amount of money you'd probably get - if it were a paid gig or you had a big (constant) audience, then I'd worry more. But catchy stuff and stuff you're confident in should probably be your main focus, at least at first. And stuff you like! (Also stuff that can be heard over surrounding noise; almost anywhere, there will be people talking or cars going by or whatever.)

Good luck! Definitely keep us posted.
[User Picture]
Date:July 3rd, 2005 11:26 am (UTC)
Farmers Market is where I was busking. I called the event's mangement office ahead of time and asked what their rules were, since I'd seen other musicians set up there. You could also check with the City Manager (or equivalent) office of Champaign and/or Urbana, to see what their rules might be.

Little Rock actually requires a busking permit for doing street music outside of the RiverMarket area proper, but there is no fee. You just register.
[User Picture]
Date:July 3rd, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
You aren't violating any copyright by busking. With live performance you can pretty much do what you want. It's when you start recording other stuff that you are in violation.
[User Picture]
Date:July 3rd, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
If you feel really bad about it, you can send a nickel to the PRO for all the songs you sing. That's a nickel to ASCAP, a nickel to BMI, a nickel to SESAC, and if you want you could send a nickel to SOCAN, too. Of course, they don't do song audits of buskers so the songwriters won't get their fraction of a cent out of it ...

... if you couldn't tell, that's a joke.
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