The Busking Project CIC
The Busking Project run by Nick Broad has created a holistic package of services for street performers that helps them in their day to day lives. Their website, busk.co, enables street performers to get tipped with cashless payments, sell their music and get hired for events.
Nick and his team help activists and advocates to increase public support for street performance, undertaking original research and informing street performers about their rights.
Theirs is the only system that specifically caters to the needs of street performers, while also providing a sense of community. This has proven especially important post-covid, evidenced by the fact that their services are now more popular than ever.
Through their Resident Entrepreneur project they will be creating a series of QR code and NFC tag signs, which will send audiences to ‘tip pages’ where they can tip the buskers, after which they’ll be asked to fill in a short online survey.
They will use A/B testing software to run a series of simultaneous, randomly-controlled trials to see how changing the design and default tip values affects both the average tip and conversion rate. Every day for a whole month, dozens of street performers will be displaying these signs to tens of thousands of people, and data will be collected for their research.
The post-tip survey will show what impact street performers have on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, its audiences, and the City of Edinburgh itself. The survey will be created in conjunction with academics from the Street Music Research Unit, including the economist Meg Elkins (Monash University), the musicologist Paul Watt (Adelaide University) and several others. They will also be consulting with several organisations involved with street entertainment in the UK, including Keep Streets Live, Outdoor Arts UK and the National Association of Street Artists UK.