The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has unveiled plans to encourage more musicians to busk in London. He wants to make it the “busking capital of the world”. Could busking encourage visitors to spend more?
London is famous for its busking and musical talent. When you travel through the capital on foot, walk through underground stations as well as on the pavements, you become used to the sounds and instruments as buskers add musical colour to the outdoors. There isn’t just one type of music, either, anything from classical arrangements, jazz, pop and world music can be played by buskers.
Keen to celebrate this, Boris Johnson has revealed plans for the first “National Busking Day” on 18th July. Trafalgar Square will be the centre point for activity.
Music brings a lot of money into London. It’s estimated that almost £600m is contributed to the UK economy by music tourists. As well as celebrating music and busking talent, Boris wants to make it easier for buskers to perform in the capital by removing some of the bureaucracy and red tape that can stand in their way. There are designated busking locations across London. It’s created a partnership between London boroughs, performers and the police. No one wants busking to damage people’s experience of a street or a place. Instead they want it to enhance it and encourage more visitors. Therefore it makes sense for all of those different agencies and partners to work together.
Having musicians showcase their talent on the streets and alongside various landmarks through London helps to entertain tourists and commuters. It can increase foot flow and encourage people to stay in different areas of the city, which benefits small businesses in the neighbourhood. Locations where there is free entertainment, a little colour and character can see a boost local economy as more visitors are attracted and are more likely to spend money in shops, restaurants and coffee shops.
Busking is great for anyone who cares about the quality of experience that a visitor has coming into the capital. London is a vast and diverse city and just like any host we always want our guests to feel entertained and welcome. Music helps to do that and it provides distinct character in different neighbourhoods. At Clarendon we’re used to hosting business travellers from around the world and with our new mobile app we help them discover what activities and attractions are around them while they’re staying in London. It helps them to make the most of their visit and really feel as though they are getting to know London while they are here. We’ll certainly be telling our guests about National Busking Day!