In the City Canberra’s (ITCC’s) Tilt festival – an initiative to find the nation’s best buskers – first ran in the CBD from 12-15 December 2007 across Hobart Place, City Walk, Ainslie Avenue, Petrie Plaza and Garema Place.
The event was divided into two ‘Walk-By Acts’ and ‘Circle Shows’, so as to showcase two distinct types of busking. The festival was sponsored again by ITCC in 2008 and 2009 where it featured as part of ‘Floriade In The City’ – an initiative to celebrate Spring in the Capital.
In 2010 ‘Busker Central’ was set up in Petrie Plaza to formalise a performance area, encouraging audiences to stop, participate in and watch various performances.
Additional activities and performances included lunchtime circus workshops, a weekend ‘kids only’ area, and performance programs such as ‘So You Think You Can Busk’ targeted to school aged children, and ‘Born Again Buskers’, for performers over the age of 60.
In conjunction with FM 104.7, Tilt 2009 had a daily cash competition to ‘Bust the Busker’, which saw local listeners awarded $250 cash prizes for locating buskers around the city based on a variety of daily clues.
Such events have added to creating a world class city centre for Canberra, which is fast earning a reputation for its vitality, liveability, commercial success and outstanding sense of community.
More recently, the Grants In the City program funded monthly busking performances coordinated by the Ted Noffs Foundation. There are three more to come, with the first kicking-off this Saturday 26 August, 1pm-3:30pm in Garema Place, Canberra City.