Awesome Spotlight: Buskerfest
February 24, 2016
We here at Prism are firm believers in encouragement as fuel for exceptional results. Many times, generating an idea that exceeds expectations can really only happen with a push, gentle or otherwise. That’s where Miami’s Awesome Foundation chapter swoops in, making sure our city remains as diverse as ever, funding projects with $1,000 grants on the monthly. We’re not surprise that many of your favorite local institutions from every cultural pillar have received that much-needed push to jettison them off the ground. For this Awesome spotlight we call to the stage: Buskerfest Miami.
It takes a visionary mind to take a well-loved tradition and revitalize it into a brilliant and interactive experience for this fast-paced and screen-driven modern age. The very act of “busking” or performing in public places for entertainment has been happening for millennia, yet it hadn’t been popularized in our city until 2013 when the organization’s co-founders, including Amy San Pedro, Justin Trieger, Gary Ressler, Collin Worth, and Ben Jervis danced around a solution to improve Downtown Miami after dark. By placing street performers throughout downtown, the city would see an immediate boost of activity and community integration. And so, Buskerfest Miami was born.
The first festival took place in December of 2013 and, like the system of veins and capillaries within the human body, it used the Inner Loop Metromover stations to pump live entertainment throughout downtown and its street corners. With 28 performers gingerly placed near each station, no pedestrian or transit-user could escape the influx of arts happening live throughout downtown, a warmly welcomed change to their otherwise monotonous routine. Over the past years they’ve recruited the musical prowess of local musicians both established and budding, from Afrobeta and Spam Allstars, to Juke and the students of Live! Modern School of Music, all culminating into a big jam at Bayfront Park. It couldn’t get any more interactive.
More than just a yearly occurrence, Buskerfest Miami has now established itself as a vital platform for many local musicians, expanding itself into a pillar of year-round programming and cultural collaborations. They’ve partnered up with community organizations like The New Tropic, Miami New Times, and inject A+E District’s Miami Soul Train with that infectious busking flare. Watch the recap video of 2014’s Buskerfest below: