Lawrence Busker Festival returns for the 14th year | Arts & Culture
The Lawrence Busker Festival is back in town for the first time since 2019. The festival started on Friday and ran all weekend.
According to festival founder and director Richard Renner, there are 25 variety numbers to play that will include acrobatics, stunts, juggling, breakdancing, comedy and music. Most of the musical performances presented are local, but artists from Canada and Hawaii will also be in attendance.
“The people at the festival are very nice, it’s a pretty small place, but a big enough place where there is a bit of diversity but there is also a small town feeling,” said Sharon Mahoney, who plays the role of “The Canadian Actress.”
This year will mark 14 years since the festival began in 2008. Upon returning to Lawrence from performing in Canada, Renner decided it was time to bring busting to Kansas.
“I was walking downtown and just saw this girl sitting on the sidewalk shaking maracas to the beat, and I realized she was doing this for advice and thought we could do better.” , Renner said.
Over the years, Renner has built up a network of performers. Kansas City, Missouri, native of Jason D’Vaude, who plays the role of “The Circus Man,” has performed at the festival every year.
“When I first started, this event was kind of one of the water lilies a hungry performance artist needs,” D’Vaude said. “The Lawrence Busker Festival was one of those founding events that helped me early on, and now I feel like I’ve grown a bit more into the event as I’ve improved over the years. 14 years. “
The Lawrence Busker Festival aims to give all performers the opportunity to develop within their industry.
“Part of our mission is to encourage artists to learn how to work on the streets,” Renner said. “When you play in the street, you are out of sight. “
Renner said he expected around 20,000 spectators over the 3 days of the show. Admission is free and tips are encouraged.
“People need something to be happy about; whether it’s sports, theater or shows of any kind, ”said Renner. “I’m not paid very much for it. When I hear that cheer, that’s when I get paid.
The festival was held in downtown Lawrence, with a high concentration of artists on New Hampshire Street.