Now in its fourth year, BuskAid is back this festive period to bring music to the streets for an important cause.In December 2016, a young Waterford man, Tadhg Williams, watching the news observed the high amounts of homelessness across Ireland whilst most others were caught up in the Christmas commotion. Tadhg decided to do something about it, rallying musicians together to raise thousands of euro each year to fund vital services. The BuskAid team has grown year on year to build this massive event in Waterford City. All hailing from the Arts community, they used their different strengths to build a festival that would not only last, but change the way we look at homelessness.
With homeless figures from October just released, figures have soared over 10,500 overall, including almost 4,000 children. Of that number, 6,027 are outside Dublin, highlighting that this is not just a Dublin issue.
Over the last three years, the Waterford community has rallied around to plug the gap the government has left in funding important local homeless services. BuskAid has raised almost €15,000 for charity since it has been founded. This year’s charity is Tinteán Housing Association. Tinteán provides accommodation with support to women experiencing homelessness in Waterford City and County.
BuskAid is not just about raising money for important causes, which of course is its primary mission. It also serves to give many young local musicians an opportunity to explore busking as an artform, to network with the music community and to play alongside more established musicians in the county. Busking brings life to the streets of Waterford and BuskAid want to amplify that during this festive season. Local businesses and organisations have been pivotal to the success of the events so far.
Derek Flynn, co-founder and experienced busking says,“Busking brings life and culture to the streets of our towns, as well as giving young musicians an invaluable opportunity to hone their craft. In all my years busking, I’ve only ever experienced a positive reaction from the public, and never more so than during BuskAid. When you’re busking, you’re sharing the streets with those who live on it. It’s hard to not take notice of their situation”.
Going into the fourth year of what the team hope will be a very successful campaign that helps change the homeless landscape in Ireland for the better. BuskAid are calling for more people to become part of the narrative of support locally, to stand together, buckets in hands and hope in their hearts that this issue will be eradicated.
Anna Jordan, one of the original coordinators and treasurer says; “We have seen the crisis awareness soar since starting Buskaid three years ago. We hope that this year we, as a community can surpass our target”.
With new additions this year, from the Caravan of Sound, to spinning vinyl, a night-time event and a charity single from Chimpanbee single ‘This One’s from Me’ and more to be announced, this year is set to be a big one at such an important time during this housing crisis. Mark December 10th for the launch in Jordan’s American Bar, followed by the BuskAid Live & Loud event on December 14th in Electric Avenue and bring your family, friends and dogs out on December 21st for a full day of busking on the streets of Waterford City, with all of the money raised going directly to charity.
Check out the BuskAid website on www.buskaid.net to get involved or follow along on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and of course, support on the day!