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Play your heart out

Music and performance look set to be the next wave of arts transforming the Darwin CBD.

By Tamara Howie

In recent years there has been a strong focus on ‘revitalising’ the CBD through the arts, and Darwin Council is hoping to see an increase in buskers taking to the city streets. 

Arts and culture development coordinator Robyn Higgins says it doesn’t matter if you want to paint yourself green as a live statue, or tell jokes on the street, there’s a place for you.

“Council wants to open it up for creatives to do what creatives do best – innovate, experiment and demonstrate their talents and skills and enhance public space,” she says.

“There are many and varied opportunities for street performers, which you can see across the world. People often misconstrue that it’s just for musicians, who are amazing, but there are many possibilities for what can be done in Darwin.

“It’s about making sure the experience is enjoyable for yourself and everyone else. It is important to be aware that public space is just that; shared space to be considerate of everyone’s desires to use space differently, to connect and build rapport with the community.”

Music NT executive director Mark Smith says busking is a good training ground, especially for musicians working on new material or who don’t have many chances to perform. 

“Busking in general is a great opportunity for young musicians to get out there and play,” he says.

“I remember when I was young, many years ago, it was what we did – you had a group of friends, you went out in the Mall for the joy of playing, and I’ve seen a lot of musicians use it to get that next step.”

“There’s a lack of avenues to play and busking is a great way to grow the industry and hone your craft, try new things and experiment in a low pressure environment.”

Head to the City of Darwin website for the latest info 

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