Behind the scenes at the Busk-a-thon

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Why a Busk-a-thon?

I've been playing music since I was a kid, but I always did it in groups. Secretly, I wanted to be a singer-songwriter and thrash around on the guitar. But I didn't start playing guitar until I was 34 years old.  

I put off performing in open mics for years. I wanted to do it. But I was not certain of my own abilities and my ancient caveman brain made me fear doing anything like that in public. I really had to push myself to do it. Recalling my very first open mic, I was scared to death, literally shaking. But I got a lot of love from it (Thanks, David Hayes for building that vibe!) and went back the next week and the week after. I've done 44 of them so far. 

Similarly, I put off getting my street performing license for years. But when covid made it hard for people to be in small coffee house settings, I then decided that if I wanted to play in front of anyone besides my dog, I would need to get out on the streets. Again, I really had to push myself to do it. Swallow some fear. My first gig netted me a lot of positive feedback. (And $47 in crumpled bills)

The idea for a busk-a-thon popped into my head one day when I was thinking about why I play on the streets. The money is nice. But it's not for the money. I do it to get better (and nothing helps you get better like playing) and because I enjoy making music and getting feedback. 

At the same time, I was extending the times I had been playing. Early on in street performing, I had enough material and stamina to play for an hour and a half. I got to two hours after a few tries.  After I played for three solid hours I tried for 3.5 hours. Recently I played non-stop for four solid hours. And then I began to wonder if a marathon session was possible.

The street performer's license says one is allowed play from 7 AM to 10 PM. I thought a 12-hour marathon, 10 AM to 10 PM, would be a great challenge. 

Of course, the NCMC was the perfect beneficiary of proceeds from a busk-a-thon. 

I'd need breaks. And I'd need help. I'd need some friends to play along at times. I'd need sponsors and supporters. Some organization. 

The Nantucket Busk-a-thon was born!