Using instruments instead of picket signs to protest Vancouver busking ban

“I would like Arts, Entertainment and Music to be part of Vancouver’s COVID agenda. To work towards something we can do safely as opposed to something stopped completely.”

Bo Henrik, a Vancouver-based RnB artist, alongside many other street performers, is challenging the City of Vancouver’s ban on busking by bringing (the proverbial) it to the streets. The demonstration will be held on Oct. 2nd and instead of raising picket signs, these artists will perform live in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Social distancing and street performances

As of Sept. 8th, the City of Vancouver declared a “temporary” ban on street performances and busking due to “public health and physical distancing requirements”. 

Henrik challenges this idea by sharing an instance of how he and his band had successfully organized safe and socially distanced live show events. During the summer, Henrik and his band had toured all around Vancouver and Kelowna where they had performed a total of 20 outdoor live shows. “We did those shows very safely, we ensured social distancing the same way other business or other events that are safely held right now are. We made sure people used masks, hand sanitizer, and stayed six feet away from other groups.”, says Henrik. He goes on to add that there was not a single case of COVID 19 from busking events and it is hypocritical to open restaurants, bars, and schools and at the same time ban street performances.

Live Performances vs Social Media Live-streaming

Henrik says that the difference between performing live shows on the street and performing live on social media platforms is big. “[With Busking] it is very clear whether or not people like it. Either people stop [vibing to your music] or they don’t.”, says Henrik, “ It is a very genuine thing. It is very grounding.”

When it comes to livestreaming, Henrik says that it is a good platform where an artist can experiment with his craft and be a little more intimate with their audience. They can share things that they traditionally would not. “But what livestreaming does not offer is a feeling of togetherness and a human connection you get from experiencing live music with other people.”, says Henrik “and to get that feeling of connection […] you don’t need to be too close. You can do it safely.”

Artistry too is a profession that is affected by COVID 19 as the shutting down of clubs led to a massive lack of gigs available.

Therefore it is imperative that we support the idea of busking as it adds innovation and creativity to Vancouver’s music scene and more importantly it is also an alternative source of income for these affected artists.

To learn more about Bo Henrik visit:
Check out his music at: https://open.

Published by The Street Pandit

Exploring through Time and Space.

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