London will come alive with the sound of music this Saturday (18 July), as the first chords are struck for Busk in London Festival. It heralds three weeks of widespread busking, with established and emerging musicians taking to the city's streets and stations.
While international musicians will perform at Trafalgar Square (where busking is on an invite-only basis), there are plenty of opportunities for anyone to get involved, as long as they register and can provide equipment. Slots can be as short as 30 minutes for music sets, and as long as four hours for walk-by acts (if you think you've got that much material, that is).
The people behind National Busking Day — also this Saturday — have put together a handy map with recommended pitch locations alongside details of all the places you can catch great tunes (including St Paul's Cathedral, Leicester Square and various tube stations). If you're planning to play, you should also note which pitches require booking and the boroughs that require a licence, details of which can be found via the Busker's code of conduct.
National Busking Day takes place on 18 July from noon-8pm at various locations across London. Busk in London Festival is spread over three weekends, beginning 18 July. Both are free to attend, although we're sure the buskers would appreciate your donations!
Earlier this year, we found out what it was like to busk on the South Bank.