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Where to Busk in Bristol (UK) ? . . Locations where Buskers have commented.
The (1) and (2) etc, refer to differing opinions
The Bear Pit
(1) The Bear Pit is good in ways other places aren't and vice versa. I wouldn't bother taking my amp there, partly 'cos I know someone who had theirs nicked. It's quite an easy place for someone make a quick getaway. Also on the negative is you tend to get more people hassling you for change and the traffic's pretty loud.
However all these things kind of give it a good fun side too because you've got to go for it to make an impression on people coming past in just a few seconds and there's a lot of good banter to be had with the people there.
(2) I never felt comfortable, or made any money in the Bear Pit, though my friend does ok on the whistle. May try my harmonica there sometime.
Broadmead especially at Tesco, The Podium and the Cabot Circus end are good. Generally anywhere in the Broadmead area is fine, if there are people passing, and you're not obstructing emergency exits. Because it's a popular area with buskers, it's sometimes difficult to find a quiet spot where you don't hear an adjacent busker, and sometimes one may be unreasonably loud, so a little walking around may be necessary.
Busking inside the Galleries is out-of-bounds, unless (A) you are Busking for a Charitable cause, and (B) you have been given permission from the Head Office of the Galleries.
Cabot Circus - (updated 24th May 2017)
Within the Cabot Circus area (which is Private Property) no busking at all is permitted nowadays, unless you are busking for the St Mungo's Charity in which case the Charity itself makes the approach to the Cabot Circus Management team. Even then the Management Office require a copy of your Public Liability Insurance, a risk assessment and a method statement.
(1) On Wednesday and Friday, but they're being super sensitive at the moment and they've got the Council Office right there so they can be onto you in a couple of minutes. I was told you can only do 45 minutes at a time. Even Simon the violin (Vi Si) has been moved on so I wouldn't smash out the shouty punk songs, at least not until you're ready to leave.
(2) I haven't tried the Corn Street market, because it always strikes me as being a tad claustrophobic.
The bottom of Corn Street where it meets the Centre, which is pedestrianised and is called Clare Street, is becoming a popular place to busk.
Watershed / Harbour / Arnolfini / Cascade Steps areas
(1) A couple other places that I'd say were better without an amp, along the Watershed Walkway, down as far as the Za Za Bazaar mainly because there's a wall behind you and a roof overhead, so your voice and instrument carry well. At the top end of the Harbour Market by Watershed on Saturday and Sunday is one, but not in the face of the traders.
(2) The Horned Bridge (Pero's Bridge) is good to busk in the middle, if you've got a loud acoustic instrument, say a trumpet or saxophone. I do alright there with my glockenspiel. The sound carries right across the Harbour so people have heard you playing long before they get to you.
Some buskers play at the sides of the bridge rather than the middle, as they prefer not to have people squeezing right past them in the centre of the bridge, as it's more open at the ends, and you're not partially blocking the bridge pathway, especially when it gets busy.
The area around the top of the Cascade Steps is also becoming more popular, either sat on a bench, or back to the wall, or back to one of those tower-structures, but at times the passing-traffic-noise can become intrusive.
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