First-ever Taipei Buskers Festival showcases street performers

10/23/2021 09:19 PM
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CNA photo Oct. 23, 2021
CNA photo Oct. 23, 2021

Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) The first-ever Taipei Buskers Festival kicked off Saturday in the city with over 90 performance groups and artists, enabling them to show off their talents to the general public.

The 36 performance groups and 60 artists are showcasing a wide range of performances and artwork, including music, comedy, clown shows, acrobatics, and handicraft. They will perform during allocated time slots in five different performance areas over the weekend at Taipei's Songshan Cultural and Creative Park.

Jian Zi-chen (簡孜宸), a sub-division chief at Taipei's Department of Cultural Affairs, told CNA that the event was organized by her department to promote and showcase the works of the city's street performers in a lively festival atmosphere.

The festival also doubles as a celebration because this year Taipei changed its requirements for street performers to register by submitting paperwork instead of having to pass exams, Jian said.

"We look forward to seeing if this development will allow performances to be richer with more creativity," she said.

Jian Zi-chen (left) from Taipei
Jian Zi-chen (left) from Taipei's Department of Cultural Affairs and Taipei Buskers Festival curator Yang Yuan-ching. CNA photo Oct. 23, 2021

Yang Yuan-ching (楊元慶), a veteran yo-yo performer and curator of the festival, said the performers at the event are filled with passion for their art and have not given up on their desire to perform even though many have not performed for months because of a domestic COVID-19 outbreak earlier this year.

Restrictions on public gatherings were introduced after the COVID-19 alert in Taiwan was raised to Level 3 on May 19 following a surge in domestic cases. However, with daily case numbers decreasing to mostly single digits, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced a return to the current Level 2 on July 27.

CNA photo Oct. 23, 2021
CNA photo Oct. 23, 2021
Japanese kendama skill toy performer Hsiao Lo Ssu (小螺絲). Photo courtesy of Taipei Buskers Festival
Japanese kendama skill toy performer Hsiao Lo Ssu (小螺絲). Photo courtesy of Taipei Buskers Festival

Japanese kendama skill toy performer Hsiao Lo Ssu (小螺絲), one of the performers at the festival, said he has not performed for four months and only started getting back into performing three weeks ago.

However, it started to rain just before one of his performances in the afternoon.

"If it wasn't for the weather, I think this event would have provided a very filling feeling for everyone to take home," he said.

Despite the weather, the majority of performances were still able to go ahead, Yang said.

He also said he hoped that the festival will help people develop a deeper appreciation for street performers because they add color and variety to the city.

CNA photo Oct. 23, 2021
CNA photo Oct. 23, 2021

The Taipei Buskers Festival will close on Sunday evening.

(By William Yen)

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