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The Halifax Busker Festival goes online

The festival normally attracts about 250,000 people to the waterfront each year, according to organizers
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(stock photo)

From card sharks to comedians to contortionists - each year the city is stormed by buskers from all over the globe.

But with COVID-19 restrictions prompting the cancelation of large public events, the Halifax Busker Festival has gone through a magical transformation this year.

Running until August 3, organizers have turned the street-performer festival into an online festival.

According to organizers, the festival attracts about 250,000 people to the waterfront each year.

But with the pandemic forcing organizers to rethink their game, this year's  festival will take place virtually.

Event Director Christina Edwards said to skip the festival would have been unheard of after 34 years.

"We all agreed having pre-recorded videos that they did just for Halifax audiences not only made the shows a little more professional and a little more high end, we could set up tips," said Edwards, adding that tips are imperative to street performers and buskers.  

With COVID-19 shutting down buskers' ability to perform in front of live crowds, many artists have had limited income in months.

Edwards says that tips can be made in any currency and will go straight to the artists through a QR code or an artist link on the video.

She adds there are 'how-to' videos on tipping as well for those who want to compensate acts for the entertainment.

"The reason the artists like coming here is because the people who come to the shows they understand that what these people make is what they get in the hat," said Edwards.

"So its only right that if you're going to enjoy that show, you do tip the artists and share the love."


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