Busking, street performance and arts or whatever you like to call it implies, to my mind anyway, a cultural form that is self-grown, unofficial, impromptu and relaxed. It is not the stuff of competitions. So it comes as no surprise that the ‘Valletta Street Arts Competition’ has had so few takers that it is now being renamed and redefined. It’s aim was all along to simply attract buskers to Valletta, whether pros, casual or amateur performers or musicians. Who cares. It’s all about getting streets arts to Valletta. In other cities, street performers have their own codes of conduct, self regulate and know when their time on the alloted pitch is up. The importance of the Valletta Street Arts initiative should be to establish this ‘pitch’ not to make it competitive or time defined. Why not keep it well beyond Christmas and let the true buskers out there just get on with it? Or may be Malta just doesn’t have an inclination for this art form?
Here’s the blurb on what it’s all about, in case you’ve missed it. And if you have something to play or perform, do please get out there and support this initiative, in its new form…
The Valletta Christmas Street Arts Competition has widened its parameters to give more people a chance to perform in Valletta.
“We have been speaking to many performers and realised that the competition aspect was making people hesitant about applying as it implied a certain level of performance and preparation”, said Chris Dingli, co-ordinator of the initiative. “The idea was to have an informal, festive showcase for all performers on the streets of Valletta”.
For this reason, the organisers have decided to do away with the competitive aspect of the competition and invite anyone who wants to try out their hand at busking at the pitch to simply show up and play. “There are no application forms to fill in. Performers can simply show up and perform for as long as they like”, said Dingli. “I was a busker in London for two years and it’s an incredibly rewarding experience. You don’t need to have much preparation for it at all, simply do whatever you enjoy doing, even if it’s just jamming. If there’s already someone on the pitch, join in!”
The official pitch is in Valletta on the corner of Merchant’s Street and St Lucia Street and will remain there until Christmas. “This is a terrific opportunity to try it out without the pressure of a competition. Meanwhile, the organisers will continue to advertise the pitch and encourage the public to visit it and support whoever they find there”.
We still suggest to anyone performing at the official pitch that they donate 10% of their takings whilst performing there to L-Istrina, should they wish to.
Anyone seeking more information should visit the website www.maltastreetarts.org.
It is an initiative of the Malta Council for Culture and Arts and the Valletta Local Council.