Record crowds at buskers festival

LEFT: Dot Dot Dot performs an acrobatic trick at the 2014 Southland Buskers Festival. (Photo: Supplied) RIGHT: Mr Wizowski at the Southland Buskers Festival. (Photo: JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ)
LEFT: Dot Dot Dot performs an acrobatic trick at the 2014 Southland Buskers Festival. (Photo: Supplied) RIGHT: Mr Wizowski at the Southland Buskers Festival. (Photo: JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ)
Mr Wizowski at the 2014 Southland Buskers Festival.
Mr Wizowski at the 2014 Southland Buskers Festival.
Mr Spin with Julz Orr, of Dipton, in Wachner Place, Invercargill, as part of the 2014 Southland Buskers Festival.
Mr Spin with Julz Orr, of Dipton, in Wachner Place, Invercargill, as part of the 2014 Southland Buskers Festival.
Lisa Lottie performs at the Southland Buskers Festival.
Lisa Lottie performs at the Southland Buskers Festival.
LEFT: Lisa Lottie juggles seven hula hoops at the Southland Buskers Festival. (Photo: JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ) RIGHT: Mr Spin performs in Wachner Place, Invercargill.  (Photo: NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ)
LEFT: Lisa Lottie juggles seven hula hoops at the Southland Buskers Festival. (Photo: JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ) RIGHT: Mr Spin performs in Wachner Place, Invercargill. (Photo: NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ)
Lisa Lottie performs in front of an enthralled crowd at Southland Boys' High School for the 2014 Southland Buskers Festival.
Lisa Lottie performs in front of an enthralled crowd at Southland Boys' High School for the 2014 Southland Buskers Festival.
Golden Goose: Keith Preene, host of Golden Goose Bingo which is on Friday and Saturday night in Invercargill as part of the Southland Buskers Festival.
Golden Goose: Keith Preene, host of Golden Goose Bingo which is on Friday and Saturday night in Invercargill as part of the Southland Buskers Festival.
Mr Wizowski in action.
Mr Wizowski in action.
People enjoying the Buskers Festival in Queens Park.
People enjoying the Buskers Festival in Queens Park.
Mr Spin entertains the crowd.
Mr Spin entertains the crowd.
Mr Spin entertains the crowd.
Mr Spin entertains the crowd.
Bazza entertains at the Buskers Festival in Queens Park, Invercargill.
Bazza entertains at the Buskers Festival in Queens Park, Invercargill.
Invercargill Mayor Tim Shsadbolt horsing around in a duel with Mr Wizowski.
Invercargill Mayor Tim Shsadbolt horsing around in a duel with Mr Wizowski.
Mr Wizowski the Ring Man entertains the crowds.
Mr Wizowski the Ring Man entertains the crowds.
Cameron Karwowski and Sequoia Cooper enjoying the Buskers Festival.
Cameron Karwowski and Sequoia Cooper enjoying the Buskers Festival.
Lisa Lottie greats the crowds at the Buskers Festival in Queens Park, Invercargill.
Lisa Lottie greats the crowds at the Buskers Festival in Queens Park, Invercargill.

"Fun, fun, fun and more fun." That's the description of this year's Southland Buskers Festival by organisers, who say it was the best one yet.

      » Click here for more on the 2014 Southland Buskers Festival

Festival organiser Jodi Wright, who also organises the World Buskers Festival in Christchurch, said this year's festival was hands-down the best one so far.

Street performer Lisa Lottie performs her hardest trick, juggling seven hula hoops at once, in front of an enthralled crowd at Southland Boys’ High School on Sunday at the Southland Buskers Festival.
Street performer Lisa Lottie performs her hardest trick, juggling seven hula hoops at once, in front of an enthralled crowd at Southland Boys’ High School on Sunday at the Southland Buskers Festival.

"Fun, fun, fun and more fun. We'll be back next year."

"Southlanders have embraced the spirit of street performers and have come out like never before."

The festival, which began on Thursday and wrapped up yesterday, drew "much bigger" crowds than previous years, reflecting a real coming of age for the event.

"The best one ever. It is a mix to do with great weather, great crowds and a great lineup."

Street performers used to try to catch people while they were going to the bank or the supermarket, luring them in with a joke or trick, she said.

"These days it's not like that, the show is the destination for the people, and that makes a big difference," she said.

People came prepared with blankets and picnic baskets, ready to settle in for a show.

It always takes a while for new festivals to become established in a community, usually between five and eight years, she said.

"[The] community's starting to trust the quality of the performers and know they're going to get a good show."

All of the acts were fresh from the World Buskers Festival in Christchurch the week before and were from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Performer Lisa Lottie, said the Southland Buskers Festival was a great one to be involved with. The performer, whose act "Bend it like Barbie" had onlookers captivated by contortion and hula hoop feats, said it was her first time in Invercargill and she would definitely recommend the festival to friends.

"It's hard to compare [to other festivals] it depends on what kind of people [are in the audience], what kind of weather, what kind of other acts are in that location. This is a great festival."

The Southland Times