(LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION…
One of the most important considerations for most professional buskers is where they will perform their act. So much so that they will travel very far from their homes and families at certain times of the year to work a particular “Pitch” because of that location’s earning potential and popularity during a particular season, holiday or festival. A “Pitch” is the venue or place where the busker performs his talent in the appropriate area of a city.
Unfortunately, in some very popular pitch areas there are a limited number of suitable pitches available to multiple performers. (or one very good one that everybody wants to use) There are usually a few pitches in an area that are more popular because of size. A larger pitch allows the buskers to attract and accommodate a larger crowd and therefore the “hat” AKA the ‘take’, or amount of money that can be made per show, gets bigger. Because the pitch is on public property, nobody can claim a right to it legally, so the performers must work it out among themselves so that the pitch may be rotated equally between performers, usually determined by seniority or on a first come first serve basis and in 20 minute increments with 10 minutes to collect tips and break down set up.
Please note: Although I have many friends who are performers, my personal experience with THIS type of busking is limited. That said, I think I know enough to communicate the gist of it. I am not as knowledgable about how the stage acts go because I am a roving performer and can perform all day- any place if I want to and do not need to attract a crowd to perform.
Different kinds of pitches suit different kinds of performances. This diversity allows for a friendlier and more successful busking scene overall and can allow certain performers to find a unique specialized pitch, that fits their specific needs with little or no competition (like myself doing caricatures). Having a variety of pitches attracts a variety of performers which makes the area that much more interesting to the people who visit busking friendly areas.
(Copyright, Adam Pate 2013)