News release from the Downtown Improvement District:
Buskerfest Celebrates Street Performers in Downtown Fort Wayne Festival
(June 6, 2012) – The Downtown Improvement District (DID) is pleased to announce the return of Buskerfest. On June 30, from 4-11 pm, a myriad of local and national performers will take to the streets of Wayne and Calhoun in Downtown Fort Wayne. Celebrating with family friendly performances and free admission, Buskerfest promises to provide an impressive array of live street entertainment.
Buskerfest is a celebration of the street performer, a festival of the unexpected, where no performance is too quirky! Street performers, or “buskers,” will treat audiences to a wide variety of street theatre including fire dancing, magic acts, belly dancing, live music, miming, juggling, comedy and more.
This is the third Buskerfest since 2009. It was not held last year but instead the DID sponsored Busker Square at Taste of the Arts. The event was a great success but fans wanted more. The exciting news for Fort Wayne is we’re doing both! We’re bringing back Buskerfest as a standalone event and sponsoring Busker Square in August.
Lead performances include:
Project Dynamite – Named the “Best Novelty Act” in America by Campus Magazine and a two time recipient of the People’s Choice Award at the San Diego Busker Festival, Project Dynamite brings a unique show to the Buskerfest stage. Featuring a mix of tricks, comedy and “utter chaos,” this self-described “Saturday Night Live meets Cirque du Soleil” duo from Boston is sure to bring something fun and different to downtown Fort Wayne. When they are not on the road they live and work in Los Angeles, honing their craft at local comedy clubs and working in the entertainment industry. They have been on such shows as The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and juggled on Hell’s Kitchen. They also produce and star in their very own web series which receives over 60,000 monthly views.
Dan Meyer – Buskerfest excitedly welcomes Dan Meyer for the first time. Dan is an Indiana native who has mastered the extremely dangerous art of sword swallowing. A 20-time World Champion sword swallower, Dan has appeared on over 700 television programs including America’s Got Talent, been featured in Ripley’s Believe it or Not books and museums, and has earned 5 Guinness World records. Prepare to be amazed by Dan who performs such extreme feats as eating fire, swallowing solid steel swords, sabers, bayonets, razors, saws, and other objects up to 30 inches long, and up to 15 swords at once!
Pyrotechniq is a Buskerfest fan favorite and back by popular demand! Pyrotechniq is an 11 – member fire performance troupe, based out of Chicago, who is regarded as the Midwest’s premiere fire dancers. They combine 40 years of experience to exhibit truly unique, one-of-a-kind fire shows. Each performance is custom developed to produce an elemental work of fire art. Pyrotechniq takes the stage just after sunset at 10pm for maximum visual effect.
Other performances include popular local acts such as the End Times Spasm Band, Fort Wayne Taiko, and more! The complete stage lineup is listed below.
Stage Performance Schedule
[li]4:00 Silly Songs by Shade Jonze[/li]
[li]4:30 Jim Reams Comedy Magic[/li]
[li]5:00 Project Dynamite[/li]
[li]5:30 Afro Disiacs[/li]
[li]6:00 Raq the Rivers Belly Dancers[/li]
[li]6:30 Fort Wayne Taiko Drums[/li]
[li]7:00 Peru Circus[/li]
[li]8:00 Project Dynamite[/li]
[li]8:30 Raq the Rivers Belly Dancers[/li]
[li]9:00 Sword Swallower Dan Meyer[/li]
[li]9:30 River City Breakers[/li]
[li]10:00 Fire Dancing by Pyrotechniq[/li]
In addition to staged acts, buskers, including mimes, face painters, and stilt walkers will roam the square entertaining crowds. Tipping is encouraged and greatly appreciated by the street performers.
Food will be available on site from The Courtyard by Marriott Downtown/Champions, Shigs in Pit, and Bravas Dogs as well as at nearby downtown restaurants including JK O’Donnell’s, Toscani, Double Dragon, the Dash-In, and Pint & Slice. The over – 21 crowd can enjoy beer and wine provided by The Courtyard by Marriott Downtown/Champions.
The continuing generosity of DID sponsors and festival guests ensures that Buskerfest will be an unforgettable day. Buskerfest is sponsored by Fort Wayne Metals, JK O’Donnell’s, Courtyard by Marriott Downtown, TAG Art, and WMEE 97.3fm.
There is still opportunity for performers and artists wishing to participate. Anyone interested in performing or selling artwork can visitfor more information.
BuskerFest is a free event and will be part of Last Saturdays downtown. Last Saturdays is a combination of events that take place every month to attract visitors downtown to experience the diverse social, arts, and cultural opportunities in our community.Â Last Saturdays in June will feature all-day discounts at the History Center, Botanical Conservatory and Science Central, special activities at the Auer Center for Arts & Culture and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Â live music at JK O’Donnell’s, Hall’s Gashouse and Rock the Plaza at the downtown public library.Â Last Saturdays is a program of the Cultural District, a partnership with the Arts United, City of Fort Wayne, DID and Visit Fort Wayne.
With all these locations to visit, Last Saturdays includes a free Citilink bus or CTN shuttle during festival hours, from 4 – 11 p.m. Park and ride the bus from parking lots and garages along the route which loops on Main Street, Clay Street, Washington Blvd, and Ewing Street, back to Main. The route runs every 10 to 15 minutes for a full circuit, and will drop riders off within a block or two of the participating venues.
Videos from the news conference held June 6, 2012: