Talented singer-songwriter Luca Fiore spent Wednesday busking all over Paris after winning the Eurostar prize at Gigs. Run by the Mayor of London, Gigs is the UK's biggest street music competition, which searches for the best young buskers across the nation.
Luca's day out began on an early train to Paris from St Pancras. On board he gave a special performance in the buffet carriage. Tired folk who'd only come looking for a cup of coffee stuck around as Luca wowed them with some of his original tunes.
After arriving at Gare du Nord he headed to the pavilion outside the Pompidou Centre, playing well-known covers for all to enjoy. Coldplay's Viva la Vida drew in more than a few passers-by and even led to a surprise donation of a few dollars; not that they were much use in Paris.
From there Luca headed to Gibson's Guitars Paris private showroom where he fell in love with some beautiful guitars, before he was whisked on to his next set outside the Shakespeare and Company bookshop. There he broke out some of his polylingual skills (he speaks an enviable five languages), serenading a few tourists in Spanish.
Next, Luca bounced over the road for a quick photo outside Notre Dame Cathedral — a future album cover perhaps — before one more gig, an open mic night downstairs at the intimate Scottish Highlander Pub. This final set was a treat, with fellow local musicians embracing Luca wholeheartedly.
Fancy taking a similar trip? Gigs is part of the wider Busk In London scheme, which organises paid bookings and private land busking schemes, and helps young talent reach their full potential. Luca had never busked before entering Gigs — which he heard of through a Spotify advert — but now he's a regular busker in tube stations, something he loves.
There's still time for budding musicians between the ages of 11-25 to enter this year's competition and find themselves on this same trip in the near future. Competitors enter a video of themselves performing online, and entries are carefully selected to see who proceeds to the next round. There, competitors perform at spots all over London, including train stations, shopping centres and even outside St Paul's Cathedral.
Judges and the public vote for their favourites, who proceed onto the Gigs Grand Final, where there's a chance for young talent to make an impression in front of industry talent and win big. If you want to be there this year, make sure to sign up for Gigs by 19 June.