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

Victoria’s Wild ARC facility welcomes new roof thanks to a rush of donations

The animal rehabilitation centre was in desperate need of repairs after 21 years

Victoria’s vacancy rate predicted to rise above one per cent

Rental rates will continue to rise, despite more availability

Victoria brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Vancouver Island Brewing said goodbye to its confusing hexagon logo

Johnson Street Bridge reopened after water main break

VicPD ask drivers to use alternate route on Nov. 12

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Politicians need to do better on social media, Trudeau says

Prime minister suggests at conference in Paris some are trying to use technology to polarize voters

Wally Buono exits CFL, stinging from painful playoff loss

B.C. Lions lost the Eastern semifinal to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, 48-8

Pot company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in B.C. town

About 200 workers lost their jobs when the Tolko sawmill in Merritt shuttered in 2016

Most Read