busker fest

Luna Breeze performs a hoop and dance routine.

Rod Sipe is a magician and fire eater.

Mama Lou the Strong Woman splits an apple with her bicep.

Jason Divad performs with a Chinese yo-yo.

Voler Thieves of Flight display their aerial acrobatics.

Buskers pass a hat to receive tips after each performance.

Recently, I photographed the 2011 Busker Festival on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, Kansas. The three day event featured dozens of street performers, or buskers, including comics, dancers, escape artists, sword swallowers, magicians, fire eaters, jugglers, acrobats and musicians.

The word “busk” comes from the Spanish word “buscar” or “to seek” because buskers seek fame and fortune. Buskers are more commonly known as troubadours in the United States.

Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Bon Jovi have all been known to busk in disguise.

-scott weaver

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