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World Buskers Festival: Bread & Circus

Sara Twister (from Germany) Ready Aim Fire 2019

It’s throwback-Thursday because in my city is the 26th year of the World Buskers Festival, now titled Bread & Circus.

Busking provides helpful reflection for worship – especially for worship leaders.

I have reflected on busking becoming more “established”. If that interests you, look back to that post.

Last night, I attended the amazing production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Court Theatre. There was more engagement with the audience (than say at a film). Busking principles were in evidence, especially in the Herod scene. They were breaking the fourth wall. If there is a fourth wall to be broken in worship, it is the “wall” between congregation and community-beyond-the-congregation. [I know, I know – it’s a bad time to use the wall metaphor!]

I want to remind people of the dynamics of busking:

  • Gather a crowd – from individuals and small groups to a united audience (and get it to grow)
  • Get the crowd to participate (clapping; call and response – there are standard ways of doing this that regular busking crowds know, and those who are new soon pick up from the regulars)
  • Go through your fixed routine, adapting it to the context, and to the reaction of the people
  • Send the people away satisfied and transformed (oh yes – get some of their money)

If you want to explore this model further, here are some previous posts:
Buskers – a model for leading worship
Busking & Liturgy
Buskers Lead Worship

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