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City of Austin’s Music Office Rolling Out Busking Pilot Program

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The City of Austin’s music office has announced that it will be using a one-time injection of $150,000 of private funds provided by Green Water site developer Trammel Crow to create a Busking Pilot Program in the downtown Seaholm District.

The music office is presently in the process of accepting applications from all genres of street musicians wanting to perform sets which are unamplified outside the Green Water development in hour-long, designated time slots. Those artists who are chosen for the program will be compensated at the standard City of Austin rate of $150 per artist per hour. City officials anticipate that the majority of time slots will be awarded to solo artists, but they have also allowed a portion of the money to be set aside for larger groups.

City of Austin’s Music Office Rolling Out Busking Pilot Program

Photo: Wikimedia

The program design allows for approximately six musicians to perform each weekend for a year at the development site, and the preliminary musician response has been positive. With little publicity to speak of, the City of Austin’s music office staff has identified to Austin 360 that they’re in receipt of approximately 70 applications within the first 24 hours of the announcement, and more than 100 musicians within the first week of operation. Erica Shamaly, music office director, advised that the staff is in the process of considering an online audition format for screening purposes, which could roll out through YouTube videos.

Due to launch over the course of the South by Southwest 2018 festival and run throughout the year, the program is aimed at attracting visitors in Austin’s downtown to buildings as well as newly opened public spaces in the vicinity. City officials hope to expand on this program by making use of data from this roll-out as a pilot program.