Thou­sands out in city to see buskers in ac­tion

The Press - - News - Sam Sher­wood sam.sher­[email protected]

A re­vamped Christchurch buskers fes­ti­val has pro­duced a ‘‘won­der­ful vibe’’ across the city cen­tre despite mixed open­ing week­end weather.

Bread & Cir­cus – World Buskers Fes­ti­val be­gan on Thurs­day, with shows staged un­til Fe­bru­ary 3 at street busk­ing pitches, a 650-seat spiegel­tent on an empty car park site and in­door venues at Christ’s Col­lege and the Arts Cen­tre.

This year is the first fes­ti­val un­der the man­age­ment of Aus­tralian events com­pany Strut & Fret. Direc­tor Scott Maid­ment said yes­ter­day the ad­di­tion of the spiegel­tent had gen­er­ated many in­quiries, with more than 25,000 peo­ple vis­it­ing their web­site in the past two days.

The week­end’s fes­tiv­i­ties were marked with about 2000 peo­ple at­tend­ing a free spec­ta­cle called OHO, which means to wake up in te reo. The show fea­tured 16 dancers, dig­i­tal pro­jec­tors, stage smoke and three lasers.

‘‘It started with a Ma¯ori acous­tic wel­come and then de­vel­oped into a deep kind of amaz­ing dance and laser show,’’ Maid­ment said.

‘‘It was a pretty deeply mov­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Any­body who was there was quite taken aback by the warmth and depth of the per­for­mance and it’s cer­tainly some­thing we’re keen to de­velop.’’

Lo­cals told him the vibe around the city cen­tre for the buskers was as good as if not bet­ter than ever be­fore.

On Satur­day, Limbo, a show that mixes cabaret, cir­cus and ac­ro­bat­ics sold more than 500 tick­ets – the most in one day in the six-year his­tory of the show.

Maid­ment said that although the weather had been mixed, a sunny Sun­day meant the show ar­eas were ‘‘packed’’.

‘‘Be­cause the days are so long they start with a fam­ily vibe and there’s still peo­ple par­ty­ing in the tent at 1am. It re­ally goes through tran­si­tions through­out the day from fam­i­lies to peo­ple see­ing shows to peo­ple catch­ing up on late night com­edy and stick­ing around and en­joy­ing the won­der­ful at­mos­phere of the spiegel­tent.’’

GE­ORGE HEARD/ STUFF

The big­gest lit­tle cir­cus per­forms on Satur­day.

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