31st annual Buskers Rendezvous gets underway in Kingston

They’re not too proud to take your money in fact that’s the ultimate goal.

We’re talking about street performers, or buskers. On Thursday, Buskers Rendezvous 2019 got underway in Kingston. The festival’s artistic director Jan MacDonald says performers from around the world have made their way to the Limestone City for a very special few days.

“Thirty-two years ago when we were having our annual sidewalk sale in downtown, we started to add some animation to the event,” MacDonald said. “So we brought in a balloon twister, a face painter, a juggler and people really enjoyed that aspect”.

Fast forward to 2019 and the four-day event is stronger then ever. MacDonald says there are about 20 acts in all with what they call “big circle” shows taking place on Ontario and Princess streets, as well as in Market Square.

Buskers Rendezvous isn’t just for out-of-towners, though. There is plenty of local talent on hand like Lydia Stafford. This marks the first experience at the festival for the 17 year-old.

“It’s really fun,” Stafford said. “It’s not as stressful as a regular performance because it’s not like everyone is focused on you. I just feel like I’m in my bedroom having fun.”

MacDonald says they work hard to recruit local acts, and in fact always have more applications then they can put on the street. The annual fire show is slated for Saturday night in the hub, getting underway at 10 p.m.

The festival comes to a close on Sunday with the grand finale.


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