Kitchener-Waterloo

Complicated international travel cancels 2020 Waterloo Busker Carnival

Though it's still several months away, the Waterloo Busker Carnival has decided to cancel its 2020 event. Organizer Randy Warren said bringing international performers to Waterloo has become all but impossible in the current global pandemic.
Buskers are used to performing for groups of 500 or 600 people — hard to manage with physical distancing in mind, say event organizers. (Waterloo Busker Carniva/Facebook)

The Waterloo Busker Carnival is cancelled for 2020. 

Though the event was scheduled for the end of August — Aug. 27 to 30 — most of the buskers are international performers and the global pandemic made getting them to Waterloo region all but impossible, organizers say. 

"Would they even be able to travel? Or if they were allowed to travel, do they have to come and be quarantined for 14 days?" event chair Randy Warren said of the questions hanging over the event. 

On top of that, he said, physical distancing guidelines would rob the carnival of its atmosphere. 

"They're used to having 500 or 600 people around them and the energy. So trying to have 500 or 600 people all spread out six feet apart from each other, just wouldn't work."

Warren says like other performers, buskers are being hit hard by COVID-19; with festivals like his cancelled and people staying home, their options are limited. 

That's why he's encouraging people to support a virtual busking festival this weekend a 24-hour event by World Buskers United featuring buskers performing from their homes all over the world.

Tips will be pooled to support the 100 or so performers. 

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