Busking in Winter – Tips


Halley the Harper bundled up Nov 2009

I went busking yesterday, and let me tell you – it was cold! The weather forecast was for 50 degrees, but with little sun and a slight breeze the chill was quite noticeable. I have busked in degrees reaching down to the high 30s, but it’s been a while, and I’m a wuss.

Here are some tips that I have found useful when busking in adverse weather conditions.

Bring a Plastic Bag or Tarp – You never know when the sky is going to open up and pour. If you’re a musician with a soft case, it’s really nice to be able to wrap your instrument in plastic before stowing it away.

Bring Gloves – I’ve practiced with those little knit gloves and can play “OK” in them as long as I’m not playing any faster music. However, for days when I want the warmth as well as the dexterity, a pair of fingerless gloves are great. (Plus, they give you that Charles Dickens street urchin look.)

Wear Layers – This may seem like a no-brainer, but I have run into occasions all the time where I am bundled up and then the sun comes up, I roast, take off the jacket, freezer, etc. Wearing lots of layers lets you shed or add as the weather fluctuates.

Make an Escape Plan – I have gone out when the morning was absolutely beautiful, only to have the sky open up and just dump. After packing up my things (quickly), I ran to the nearest coffee shop and tried to wait it out. Then, I ended up having to call a friend to come pick me up as I couldn’t even make it to a bus stop.

Check the Forecast and Realize It’s Usually Wrong – Winter in Portland is unpredictable enough. It’s always frustrating to read about a “partially cloudy” day and then get out for half an hour just to get rained on.

Find Covered Areas – This is difficult in downtown area, but if you can find a place that’s not private property and covered, kudos to you.

Do you have any adverse weather tips? Leave a comment or e-mail us!


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One Response to “Busking in Winter – Tips”

  1. Luke Says:

    COFFEE! Nothing is better than a thermos of coffee to warm your fingers between playing.

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