Abingdon, VA – This Labor Day weekend, the sidewalks of downtown Abingdon will once again be filled with funky, fun performing artists for Main Street Busker Fest, Saturday September 3rd. Proceeds benefit Abingdon Main Street (AMS), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting downtown Abingdon. The fun starts at 11am with kids’ activities at the Imagination Station on the Barter green, then continues noon to 5pm with performers along Main Street. At 8pm, adults 21 and up are invited to Buskers After Dark, a fundraiser featuring roving performances from the best of the buskers.
“Busking” is an age-old tradition in which artists perform on street corners and play publicly for tips. Musicians, jugglers, sword swallowers, acrobats, and more – street artists add character and fun to their communities.
Now in its second year, Main Street Busker Fest has grown, offering more artists in more locations. Thanks to support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Virginia Tourism Corporation, AMS has scheduled over 30 acts, including performers from Kansas City, Asheville, and Brooklyn as well as home-grown talent from the Tri Cities area.
The 2016 festival features performers like the Silver Drummer Girl (a living statue), the Rosetta Sisters (aerial acrobats), Black Clan (a hip hop dance crew), Unifire Theatre (fire performers) and Miss Kitty’s Cosmonauts (stilt walkers), in addition to musicians, jugglers, clowns, circus performers and psychics. Three anchor stages will offer space for larger acts, with additional performers located throughout downtown Abingdon, from Town Park to Courthouse Hill.The festival is free, but visitors should plan to bring change so they can show appreciation to their favorite artists with a tip. Volunteers will be available to help make change, and several ATMs are located on Main Street.
Food vendors will be located at the parking lot at the corner of Pecan and Main Street and the Town Park across from the post office. Abingdon restaurants are open for lunch and dinner; a full listing can be found here. Downtown merchants are participating in the festival with sidewalk sales and giveaways, turning all of downtown Abingdon in to a carnival atmosphere for the day.
The Imagination Station is presented by Paper Moon Studios and Barter Youth Academy and is open to all children and the young at heart. This free workshop takes place at the Barter Green, and includes hands on crafts and improvisation activities. At the end of the workshop, kids will be able to try their hand at their own busking show on Main Street!
At 8:00pm, Abingdon Main Street invites adults 21+ to Buskers After Dark, sponsored by Cuttin’ Up Hair Salon. Buskers After Dark is an evening of roving performances, stage shows and chance to mingle with the best buskers from the festival (photo ID required to enter, no exceptions). In keeping with the traditions of the festival, attendees are encouraged to bring a “tip” for Abingdon Main Street, aka a donation at the door.
Details: The Imagination Station is open 11:00am – 3:00pm at the Barter Green. Buskers will perform 12:00pm – 5:00pm along Main Street. Buskers After Dark is 8:00pm – 10:00pm at the Abingdon Market Pavilion. Festival maps will be provided at the event; for a sneak peek at some of the artists performing, visit www.mainstreetbuskerfest.com.
This event is sponsored by the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Commission of the Arts, Cuttin’ Up Hair Salon, and The Martha Washington Inn & Spa. Media sponsors include Bristol Herald Courier and 99.3 The X.
For more information, visit www.mainstreetbuskerfest.com