Abingon’s popular festival Main Street Busker Fest returns Saturday September 2, 2017 with a lineup of brand new acts, including sword swallowers, yo-yo artists, psychics and musicians. The free street festival aims to bring totally unique performers to downtown Abingdon, for a weird and wonderful experience for all ages. After the daytime festival, select acts will return for Buskers After Dark, a 21+ event to benefit Abingdon Main Street.
“Busking” is an age-old tradition in which artists perform on street corners and play publicly for tips. Musicians, jugglers, aerialists, acrobats, and more – street artists add character and fun to their communities.
Now in its third 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 11 new performers from as far away as Colorado, Kansas City, Asheville, and NYC as well as home-grown talent from the Tri Cities area.
Schedule: The fun starts at 11a.m. for the youth and the young at heart with the Imagination Station on the Barter green, sponsored by Paper Moon Studio. From noon until 5 p.m., entertainment can be found all along Main Street. When the sun goes down, adults 21+ are invited to the Abingdon Market Pavilion for Buskers After Dark at 8p.m., a fundraiser featuring roving performances from the best of the buskers (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.
The 2017 festival features performers like Imagine Circus Aerialists, A Great Distraction (sidewalk chalk art), Nerdy Noah (comedy variety show), Justin Weber Yo-Yo, Jonathan Austin (juggling and magic show) and Rob and Miss Jane (comedy variety show), in addition to musicians, jugglers, clowns, circus performers and psychics. Busker Fest will also feature fantastic local musicians including JP Parsons, Ian Feathers, Pointer Brothers and even students from the high school marching band.
Three anchor stages will offer space for larger acts, with additional performers located along Main Street in downtown Abingdon. Food trucks will be available, and Abingdon’s downtown restaurants will be open for lunch and dinner. Downtown merchants are participating in the festival with sidewalk sales and giveaways, turning all of downtown Abingdon into a carnival atmosphere for the day.
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.
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, Holston Medical Group, and Virginia Highlands Community College. Media sponsors include Bristol Herald Courier, The Loafer, and 99.3 The X.