10 Years of Being Weird - the Lawrence Busker Festival is back again

Ten years is a long time to do anything, especially when you are doing something weird.

The Lawrence Busker Festival returns for its 10th year of keeping Lawrence weird with street performers from all over the world. On May 26th through 28th, downtown Lawrence hosts over 50 different acts performing on 5 different stages. The unique and different skills on display include fire manipulations, pogo stick acrobatics, circus spies, break dancing, strong women, aerial artists, musicians, poets and rubber chicken tricks. It’s all free too, the acts are only paid by your voluntary tips.

For the tenth year, the Busker Festival has some extra oddball events planned. The biggest one is called The Great Escape and will kick off the event at the 8th street site. Veteran busker Bobby Maverick the escape artist will recreate Harry Houdini’s crowd gathering stunt of escaping from a strait jacket while hanging upside down 2 stories above the crowd. Bobby will also be upping the excitement by setting the rope he’s hanging from on fire. This stunt is so dangerous that it will be happening only once at the beginning of the festival – 5pm on Friday, May 26th.

Other extra events include an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the most people attempting a water bottle flip. This is a popular trick where participants will try to flip a water bottle once and land it on the end. One quick google search reveals the many ways and places people have been performing this trick. It is just the unique and seemingly useless skill that street performers like. The time is not set yet but it will probably be on Saturday afternoon on the New Hampshire stage site. Water bottles and some training will be provided for whoever wants to attempt the trick.

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. 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 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.

Several 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 info@lawrencebuskerfest.com .

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.

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