Dust off your guitars and get those vocal chords nice and warm; TfL are holding auditions to find some brand new buskers in the capital city. Marking twenty years since live music was introduced to London’s transport network, the audition process is being reopened for the first time in six years, so you’ll need to bring your A game.
Musicians have been performing at London tube stations as part of the Licensed Busking Scheme since 2003. Since then, over 200 registered buskers have managed to pass the competitive audition process, filling the ears of exhausted commuters and excited tourists with everything from classical and pop to rock and R&B. And now, they’re on the hunt again and applications are open now – so what are you waiting for?
Auditions will be taking place in early 2024 and are being managed by Found in Music who run Busk in London (a programme supported by the Mayor of London). Keen to reflect the vibrancy and diversity of the city, performers of all musical genres are encouraged to apply. Shortlisted musicians will then perform to a panel of experts within a busy station environment and will be judged based on technical ability and audience reaction.
There are now over 40 official busking pitches across the network and an estimated audience of around 3.5 million people everyday. So, yeah – it’s a pretty big deal.
TfL are also adding two new busking pitches to the network this autumn, so Londoners can now expect to hear the sound of sweet music coming from the Davis Street and Hanover Square entrances of Bond Street station. These will be the first busking pitches to grace the Elizabeth Line but TfL are hoping to set up further pitches on the Lizzie Line in future to brighten up the journeys of the millions of people who use the line each week. Aren’t they thoughtful?
Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, said: “I am delighted at the return of TfL’s busking auditions and the introduction of pitches to the Elizabeth line. Busking is a thriving artform across our city and has brought TfL’s stations alive over the last 20 years. This competition provides musicians with a fantastic opportunity to show off their talents, as we build a better London for everyone.”
Kate Jones, Found in Music’s Programme Director, said: “Found in Music is delighted to be working with TfL on the audition process for the iconic London Underground Busking Scheme. London is world renowned for music with a multitude of venues to visit and performers to appreciate. Busking has a key role to play in the music ecosystem and provides artists with a free, public stage to hone their skills whether on the street, at one of Busk in London’s high-profile locations or on the Underground. We are really looking forward to discovering new talent during the audition process.”
Find out more and apply to audition here.