Busking I’ve never played music on the street for tips before, but busking is something I’ve always wanted to try. For Colorado musicians, there is no better place to play than Pearl Street Mall, one of the top busking locations in the US. Pearl Street is a pedestrian shopping area in the heart of Boulder, and on any given day, it’s usual to see musicians, artists, and novelty entertainers of all kinds performing outdoors.
Big Surprise! This past Saturday was a beautiful day and I took my flute and headed out to Pearl Street to try my hand at street performing. What I did not expect were the thousands of people, fairies and other mythical creatures that crowded the center of town. I had unintentionally arrived just in time to play during the Boulder Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival. I found my own performing space somewhere between a guitarist playing on a platform that looked like a giant double bass and a fire tossing juggler. My biggest fans turned out to be little girls in fairy dresses who twirled and danced to the tunes I played on my flute.
Experiments As I played, I experimented to see what kind of music drew the most tips. The most loved Tulip Fairy and Elf music? Slow romantic or classical music, as long as I played loud enough to be heard over the noise of the crowd. The two favorites were “Londonderry Air” and “Meditation from Thais”. Jazz, Celtic and lively classical music didn’t do as well. Once I found out what kind of music my audience of young fairies preferred, the tips came in regularly and I left with some money in my purse and satisfied with an enjoyable experience. I am planning on busking again sometime, so if you are ever on Pearl Street and see a flute player, or if you are lucky, a flute and harp duo, that just might be me.