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Old 05-01-01, 11:17 PM   #1
Byron Bertram
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Apple Pitches in the U.S.A.

I never here about anybody regulary working a pitch in so many cities in The U.S. Chicago is a huge city. How come I never here of a pitch there or any street performers who work there? What about cities like St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, Kansas city, any cities in the midwest, and Texsas. Is there any pitches in these places? If so how come the only cities I ever here about in the states for street shows are San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, Boston, Key West, Balitmore, Boulder, and L.A.?

I've been curious for years.

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Old 05-02-01, 03:03 PM   #2
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Maybe it's because those cities are still secret.... As soon as a city starts getting talked about, it gets overrun with a million acts and then it dies off. Those smaller, undiscovered cities can have amazing potential.

I heard that Gazzo was recently sighted in Des Moines, Iowa.... Maybe you should go check it out for us, Byron.

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Old 05-03-01, 01:28 PM   #3
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I think why you only hear about certain cities is that they are KNOWN to be workable. Nobody wants to travel to an "unknown" city and maybe run the risk of getting arrested for busking. Sure waste of time and money!
It's often possible to research bye-laws of a city on the internet. Almost all cities have a site. Maybe you could start with your own city, to get the hang of it.
Also it's hard to find temporary housing in non touristy cities. Kelly.

The World On A String.
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Old 05-03-01, 06:33 PM   #4
nick nickolas
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Run the risk .....I've been to cities noone has heard of and made a killing,okay somtimes you screw up,but if you think about it the 'known' pitches are only 'known 'cos someone went there 1st.......
And if you find the goldmine and are doing 10 shows a day,cashing in you won't be dissapointed.
p.s. I thought Gazzo had retired
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Old 05-07-01, 12:23 AM   #5
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All right, I'm trying Chicago out, but from what I've heard, this city isn't that street-performer-oriented. Cops aren't really friendly around here, even if you have the permit required by the city. I'm guessing that since there aren't that many performers all over the place, cops are just ignorant of the laws that apply, so they give you shit whenever they see you.

I know of a couple of places that look good (they did last summer at least). Yet, from what I've seen, wind in the open spaces makes it hard to work most things, so the majority of performers here are single musicians on street corners around buildings. I have never seen a crowd around any of them (and I'm defining "crowd" very loosely here).

At any rate, I'll give it an amateur shot, and will let you guys know how it goes, and what problems I have.
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Old 05-07-01, 10:31 PM   #6
nick nickolas
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I took a shot a few years back and went to Chicago July 4th 'Taste of Chicago Fest'
Billions of people for a couple of days,very noisey, crowds 90% black ,I found a quiet place and kicked arse so ,well thats all I know about Chicago,let us know how it is now...


[This message has been edited by nick nickolas (edited 05-09-2001).]
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Old 05-09-01, 05:28 PM   #7
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Byron - you're right, the list of "standard" venues is short. St. Louis, for example, passed an ordinance about four years ago allowing street entertainment. When I was there, unfortunately, the police were yet to be aware! Maybe it is better now, but the rule of thumb is if there is a tradition of supporting street performance you've at least got a chance. If there is NO tradition of street performance you're fighting an uphill battle trying to develop it. However there is ALWAYS the possibility of hitting it big on novelty alone!
Many academic communities (Ithaca, NY; Santa Cruz, CA) are supportive.
Break a leg!
Peter Bennett, The New Orleans GlassMan.

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The GlassHarper (I play glassical music)!
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Old 05-16-01, 12:20 PM   #8
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Okay. I have been drawn out of lurking. I was raised in chicago, and no matter what I'm doing I'm always back for bluesfest and taste. This summer will be my 14th consecutive for both. Far as I know I am the only variety entertainer who doesn't become a balloon clown as soon as the masses arrive (if i'm wrong let's get a beer). There is a lot of money to be made here, but you have to give the city it's due, and sign a list, and rotate...This is all for the purpose of discouraging as many of us as possible. But here's the thing- acknowledging and respecting doesn't have to mean following, and usually a few days into any of the major fests here they lighten up and let us work it out on our own. Every now and then a few of you roll into town, get given the ole "do it on the other side of the fountain" routine, and you leave cursing this towns name. Meanwhile I continue putting my parents through college. I'd be glad to help anyone come up here and work. You can also work at Lincoln Park Zoo 7 days a week with an additional permit ($20). The city will hit you up for $75. If these fees are an issue for you, save yourself the lesson. Nah, they probably won't arrest you, but performing in an empty parking lot 3 miles from a fest gets old. You will be shut down by cops and entertainers alike- frequently. Seriously though, if you've got a good act and you're familiar with the laws, and nice to the cops you can make a lot of money here.

take care,
adam zeisler
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Old 06-05-01, 12:14 AM   #9
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I do agree with Jim's post - when situation in a big city becomes busker-friendly, lots of folks show up, and eventually it's way too many people in one spot, and the authorities have to start inventing permits and other forms of restriction...Especially when the political winds change and republicans win the city hall. This happened to us in NYC. During Dinkins times you could perform pretty much anywhere - or sell phony Rolexes on 5th Avenue, nobody cared... Now you need a licence to breeze, even Seaport, which used to be a buskers heaven, is tightening the security, enforcing the scedules, and kicking out people who didn't audition this particular year...Parks Department issues permits - 45 days in advance for 3 days in a month...Washington Square, which used to be a huge pitch in beatnik days, has a mobile police unit stationed there 24/7...LAW AND ORDER...

On a brighter side - there are so many street fairs here, and not all of them are stricktly commercial, so you can always contact them and set up...And zillions of festivals upstate and on Long Island...
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Old 06-05-01, 05:23 PM   #10
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Thumbs down

I wont work long island, evan if thay payed my rate, travel, and let me pass the hat!!! no joke it is by far the worst place I have performed. don't do it!
The adventure cont...
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