Juggler Aaron Gregg has been a busker for more than 15 years.

Here come the buskers

Ten-day street performer festival kicks off Friday with more than 100 international and local acts ready to perform

  • Jul. 16, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Akron and Aaron Gregg are street workers.

For the two Victoria professional street performers, more commonly known as buskers, the Victoria International Buskers Festival opens a door of opportunity.

Both Gregg and Akron work regularly along the Inner Harbour in a rotation with other street performers through the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.

With more people in town for the festival, the two expect their donation caps to be brimming with money over the next 10 days.

More than 100 professional street performers are expected to attend this year’s festival from July 18 to 27.

The free festival includes world-class break dancers, acrobatic spectacles, stage plays and mimes on seven stages throughout the downtown core, said executive director John Vickers.

“We’re presenting more than 1,000 hours of programming. It really is a spectacular amount of busker talent.”

Akron, 39, has been busking for more than 18 years, the last four in Victoria.

His act is full of comedy, juggling and fire.

“What I really like (about juggling) is the ability to pull people off the street and give them a theatre performance,” he said.

“A lot of what I do in Victoria is discovering what appeals to audiences.”

Akron works eight months of the year full-time as a busker and then takes some downtime. Last year he also performed on Pier 39 in San Franciso.

“The show has evolved over the last 18 years. I’ll keep some things, take away things and add new things.”

For Gregg, a Fernwood resident, his busking tricks are a door to comedy.

“The tricks are an excuse to tell jokes,” he said.

Gregg has been a busker for 15 years. He taught himself how to juggle while attending Saanich’s Mt. Doug High School.

Now, it seems, he can juggle almost everything from chainsaws (yes, chainsaws) to fire batons.

He performs in several arts and theatre festivals every year.

“I thought about becoming a comedian,” he said, “but it doesn’t pay unless you’re famous.”

Neither Akron or Gregg are on the official list of for the busker festival, but Vickers said that doesn’t matter. “Any street busker is encouraged to participate as long as they have a city busker licence. It’s one big celebration of busking.”

Events run until 10 p.m. daily through July 27. For more information, please go online to victoriabuskers.com.

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read