Popular busker fearing survival on local streets with no change

POPULAR Padstow busker Laura Gifford fears the death knell has been sounded for street entertainment as society moves into a cashless society.

She said in a perfect world, everyone would carry cash so they would have the means to ‘tip’ if they liked what they heard and clubs would be keener to spend their money on live entertainment than expanding poker machine areas.
“Buskers will suffer in the future but street beggars will suffer more as they have no option to get gigs like musicians,” Laura said.
“It is important to note the distinction between a busker and a beggar and for society not to dehumanise either group.
“Beggars are asking for your financial help but they actually need more than money.
“Buskers just want you to like the music enough to throw a tip our way; if you don’t enjoy what we’re singing, then kindly move on rather than yell ‘get a real job, bludger’.”
Laura said that on the whole, local residents had been very supportive of her street entertainment and being “a fly on the wall” for eight years, allowed her to see things others may not.
“Bankstown gets such a bad rap but it’s my favourite place to busk because there’s so much good here – the love between a mother and baby, the kind older crowd trying to get a good deal on their vegetables or the man who picks up a piece of rubbish that isn’t his to prevent someone slipping on it,” she said.
With upcoming auditions for a range of corporate gigs and private functions, Laura says her first love will always be busking.
You still can catch her busking outside Bankstown Railway Station most afternoons or near Chemist Warehouse on Sundays as well as outside the Woolworths Metro at Padstow several times a week.
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