Over 100 years ago the master magician and escape artist, Harry Houdini, was amazing huge crowds with a public display of his skill. As a stunt to gather publicity for an upcoming show, Houdini would hang upside down from a building top and escape from a strait jacket, often to gathered crowds of over 10,000 people.
This year is the tenth annual Busker Festival May 26-28 and to celebrate magician and escape artist, Bobby Maverick, will be recreating Houdini’s classic escape with an added degree of difficulty. Not only will Bobby be suspended from a crane 2 stories high but the rope holding him will be set on fire and burning while he struggles to escape. This added element is sure to make his perfect execution of this escape dangerously thrilling.
The Busker Festival is calling this The Great Escape and has it scheduled as the kickoff performance to the festival on Friday at 5 p.m. on the 8th street pitch. It begins the three day festival’s 10 year celebration that features some of the best street performers in the world on the streets of downtown Lawrence. It is known as the biggest celebration of street performers in the United States and attracts visitors from all the country.
The Busker Festival will be bringing in some new acts this year that will add to the excitement. Along with some returning popular acts, there will be several new ones.
Look for Snap Boogie from the Boston area to perform an acrobatic break dancing show that he has done all over the world and onto America’s Got Talent. He spends many hours practicing and coming up with his own choreography, using his skills and natural ability to “freestyle.” He strives to be a good example to kids, showing them that they too can stay off the streets if they cultivate a passion for dance.
Greg Frisbee’s Rubber Chicken Show will make its first appearance at the 2017 Busker Festival. Greg combines his comedy circus skills with a talent for inventing to present “poultry in motion”. You will see rubber chickens doing tricks that aren’t natural to most to their species, including an arcing dive into a KFC bucket. Believe it or not, this show has thrilled audiences all over the world. It seems that everyone knows rubber chickens are funny.
Her Majesty’s Secret Circus sneaks into the Busker Festival to present a couple of highly trained circus spies out to discover what makes you laugh. Maya & Brent McCoy are Agents Butterfly & Honeymoon an they have performed Her Majesty’s Secret Circus Show, an action-packed spy-fi comedy show, since 2009. Each are well trained in comedic physical comedy, juggling and other circus skills.Their arsenal of weapons includes a stealthy unicycle and toilet plunger arrows.
Returning to the Busker Festival will be popular favorite Mama Lou Strongwoman. She holds several Guinness World Records including tearing up phone books and smashing apples in biceps. Linsey Lindberg was raised in Kansas City and performs as Mama Lou all over the world now. She currently lives in San Antonio and promotes variety performers to events in Texas.
Two years ago, the Busker Festival and the Art Tougeau Art Car parade partnered up in a marriage that continues this year. The natural weirdness of the art car includes autos dressed up with dental devices, pop bottle tops, chalk paint and any other whimsical design that seems right. The cars will be on display Friday night May 26th and the parade happens at noon on Saturday May 27th.
The Lawrence Busker festival is a whole weekend of weirdness that the town and tourists look forward to each year. For over 10 years it has grown consistently to a regional draw that brings people from all over the country to experience the unmistakably different culture of Lawrence Kansas. More information is available at Lawrencebuskerfest.com or by calling 785-330-5110 or writing to [email protected] .
The Lawrence Busker Festival is produced by Busker Festivals, Inc. which is a nonprofit created to promote street performing opportunities and educational training. Busker Festivals is active in several cities in America as an organizer and advocate for buskers everywhere.