Tip of the hat: ‘Busker’ fest brings street performers to Coney

Cabbage comic: Buskers hit Coney Island on Saturday to show off their acts in the Busker Festival. Comedian Mike Woods entertained the crowd by catching catapulted cabbage in a bowl on his head.
Brooklyn Daily
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Don’t call it a bored walk!

Street performers took their talents from the sidewalk to the Boardwalk for Coney Island’s Busker Fest on Aug. 20. The festival featured a variety of public entertainers who work for tips — also known as “buskers” — performing magic, music, comedy, and acrobatics. And the fest was a thrill, said one spectator.

“It was classic Coney Island fun,” said Anna Orlov, who lives in the People’s Playground. “One guy was impaling cabbages on a spike helmet, another was escaping from a straight jacket, it was just really cool.”

Entertainers from around the city — and even the world — gathered for the inaugural festival, according to a rep from sponsors the Alliance for Coney Island and the Coney Island Brewery.

Roaming entertainers such as stilt-walkers and jugglers dazzled visitors as they wandered the Boardwalk. And organizers designated five stations for less ambulatory buskers to do their bits back-to-back.

Organizers hope the festival joins the Mermaid Parade and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest as a signature Coney Island event — and they’re already promising an encore next summer, one said.

“We want to make this our third signature event for the season,” said Alliance for Coney Island executive director Johanna Zaki. “We thought a busk fest was such a natural fit for Coney Island given Coney’s history of sideshows and vaudeville. It’ll definitely be back next year.”

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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