Buskers' Festival

Buskers' Festival

Late August
Buskers are vagabond musicians. They were common in the streets of 14th-century Ferrara, Italy, when it was ruled by the Dukes of Este. They still roam the streets of the world's cities, although they may be difficult to find because they usually have no fixed address and no manager or agent to contact. But Stefano Bottoni, artistic director of Ferrara's Buskers' Festival, manages to track them down and persuade them to come for a seven-day celebration of music that ranges from salsa to Celtic laments, and from Mozart to New Orleans jazz. They are not paid anything, nor are they given a stage to perform on, but since 1988 hundreds of them have wandered the city's narrow streets for a week in August, improvising their own kind of music and jamming with other itinerant musicians. Nearly 700 buskers come from all over the world to perform in Ferrara's squares and alleyways, with its spectacular medieval and Renaissance architecture as their backdrop. The week ends with a jam session in front of the walls of the castle in the center of the town.
CONTACTS:
Ferrara Buskers Festival Association
Via De'Romei 3
Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna 44100 Italy
39-532-2493-37; fax: 39-532-2070-48
www.ferrarabuskers.com
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