Busk app to allow street performers to receive cashless payment
A new app will allow street performers to receive cashless payments for their work.
Its designers hope it will demonstrate that street performance is a “legitimate” way to earn a living.
The Busk app has been created by the Busking Project, a community of street performers that seeks to defend and promote busking.
It said the average person was carrying less cash in their pocket and that “buskers are finding it increasingly difficult to survive”.
Busk allows street performers to receive cashless payments via a credit or debit card. Members of the public can also use the app to hire buskers for gigs and keep in touch with upcoming performances.
Nick Broad, founder of the Busking Project, said: “We should be celebrating our buskers, as street performances not only benefit the artist, but have knock on positive benefits, invigorating towns and cities.”
He added: “There is a lot of misunderstanding about street performers. The old joke is that buskers are ‘beggars with a gimmick’, but Ed Sheeran, Pierce Brosnan and KT Tunstall all started off as buskers. What we are trying to do with Busk is to show that being a street performer is a legitimate and accessible way of earning a living.”
The app is supported by the Nominet Trust, which provides financial support to people “making imaginative use of technology”.
Director Vicki Hearn said: “As the world moves online, how do we ensure that excluded groups don’t get left further behind? It is vital that independent live performers, who are often financially and digitally excluded, are also able to benefit from the frictionless micropayments used by larger enterprises.”
The Busk app will also collect data on the impact buskers have on tourists, commuters and local business in London.