Wellington's buskers are still tuning up for what they hope will be a bumper pre-Christmas weekend.
So far this month, there have been only 45 applications to Wellington City Council for busking licences, compared with 117 issued for last December, and a monthly average throughout the year of 61.
There had been a noticeable lack of street performers in the past few days, but council spokesman Clayton Anderson said that could be down to the weather.
"For the big shopping weekend this weekend, and on Christmas Eve, we are expecting wall-to-wall buskers. It's their big time of year."
Niamh Vaughan, 12, singer: The Te Aro School pupil has been singing regularly in Cuba St during her summer holidays to make extra money for Christmas. She performs carols such as Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as well as songs by Abba and Miley Cyrus. On a good day she can make up to $35 an hour. She goes busking every few days.
Jeremy Moskovitz, 21, violinist: The student of Massey University in Palmerston North busks in Wellington's Lambton Quay for two to three hours each day to earn money for the holiday period. He refuses to play Christmas carols, preferring Irish and Jewish music. He says the money he makes is "unpredictable" compared with the steady amount he earns in Palmerston North. He would not say how much he makes an hour, but it is "enough".
- The Dominion Post