A cracking line-up

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Street performer Tianna The Traveller (Canada). Photos: Supplied

ORGANISERS of this year’s Southland Buskers Festival are hoping the sun continues to shine in the south.

Festival director Jodi Wright said she had her fingers crossed the fine weather would continue for the ninth annual circus and street theatre festival, which will be held in Invercargill from February 1-4.

Wright said planning for the family-friendly festival had gone well, with an exciting line-up of performers including whip cracking world traveller Tianna The Traveller (Canada), strongman The Mighty Mike Show (Canada), circus performer Mr Qwirk (New Zealand), and street theatre The Red Trouser Show (United States).

“It’s a nice eclectic mix of everything from whip crackers to hula hoop artists and jugglers and daredevils. It’s a really nice mix for the audience,” Wright said.

There would be about 30 shows during the four-day period, with performances in Queens Park at the Buskers Stage near the band rotunda and at the Queens Park Music Pitch, at the pathway near the rose garden, and at the Southern Farmer’s Market, Masonic Centre, Forth St, she said.

“If the weather’s good I’m sure we’ll have full houses.”

Mighty Mike.

Instead of the traditional Wachner Place, the central city performances would now be held at the Pocket Park Music Pitch, on Esk St.

Because of the new locations, she had included a couple of musical acts in the festival including The Old Time Rags, from the United Kingdom, she said.

The duo were influenced by sideshow, music hall and vaudeville.

“She’s a great tap dancer and he’s a banjo player… it’s quite cute.”

Kiwi singer-songwriter Kim Potter will also perform daily at the pocket park, in-between appearing on the Buskers Stage as his alter-ego of magician, juggler, unicyclist and guitar master rock star Vinyl Burns.

“Kim Potter is a fantastic musician and a really great entertainer.”

A hula hoop workshop would also be held on Saturday, February 3, at the Busker Stage near the band rotunda in Queens Park from 10am-11am.

Open to all, Wright said Canadian performer Bex In Motion would host the workshop.

“She’s a fantastic hula hoop artist, and she’s a tutor… She just has the tricks of the trade.”

There would be some hula hoops available, or people could bring their own, she said.

“The festival does try to educate as well as entertain wherever we can.”

The festival programme was inserted with this month’s Invercargill City Council rates invoice, is available to pick up from outlets throughout the city, or can be downloaded from southlandnz.com/events

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