Could this be York’s best ever Christmas party?

Street stars… Some of the York buskers who will perform at the Christmas bash. Photographs: Richard McDougall
23 Nov 2016 @ 7.51 pm
| Charity, Entertainment

Put down that cracker and step away from the sprouts – we might have found York’s best ever Christmas party.

York Buskers Christmas Party

The Hop, Fossgate

Tues Dec 13 from 6pm

Not only is it staged in a pub serving great food and beer, the entertainment will be unsurpassable.

That’s because York buskers have decide to hold their first ever festive get-together. They are all planning on performing at the event at the Hop on Fossgate – and best of all, we can all come along.

It means an amazing variety of entertainment from the likes of singers, accordionists, violinists, escapologists and jugglers. All money raised on the night will go to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Top knees-up

Sphere of influence: Steve Bullen, aka The Magic Ball Man
Sphere of influence: Steve Bullen, aka The Magic Ball Man

One of the organisers, singer and guitarist Peter James, said: “The York Buskers Christmas Party is a chance for all the buskers who perform in York to have a get together and enjoy performing – inside for a change!

“But the event certainly isn’t just for York’s busking community. It’s for anyone who would like to attend and have a good time.”

The idea began when a few of the buskers got together and realised the fact that they are solo performers who don’t have an office didn’t stop them from having their own version of the staff Christmas party.

Then they decided to turn their knees-up into a fundraiser for charity.

“This must be the first Buskers Christmas Party York has seen. It’s never an opportunity we normally have,” said fellow organiser Steve Bullen, aka the Magic Ball Man.

“The event will showcase the community within York buskers and to put us in a better light.”

We could see some unusual collaborations on the night as the street entertainers perform together for the first time. For example, Steve would like his act to be accompanied by popular accordionist Ben Crosthwaite.

Thrills and spills

Escapologist and party host Rob Collins
Escapologist and party host Rob Collins

Escapologist Rob Collins is the party host. He will be introducing acts, entertaining the crowd and generally creating the same feel-good, thrills and spills atmosphere as he does in King’s Square.

There will also be caricaturists at the party who will draw a picture of you for a donation to the charity. Magicians will mingle among the crowd and perform close-up magic.

Plans are being drawn up to sell a special ‘buskers’ beer’ on the night, with some of the proceeds going to Macmillan. The event is bound to create a buzz – and if it’s a success could lead to more busking showcases in the future.

“Hopefully if things go well, we can sort out a busking festival in the summer,” said violinist Jo Wherry.

The end of the night will see a joint effort from all the street entertainers – finishing the party with a bang!

The stellar party line-up

Peter James York busker for over 10 years playing energetic folk
Steve Bullen The Magic Ball Man is internationally recognised as one of the most talented and innovative performers in his field
Rachel Croft Singer and guitarist, she performs a plethora of songs from Fleetwood Mac to her own compositions
Karl Mullen Pianist, piano teacher and long time busker who also runs a regular music event at Victoria Vaults
David Morris Singing every famous love song from the 90s, known for his iconic flat cap and stool, often outside Café Rouge
Ben Crosthwaite Moustachioed accordionist well known for playing in St Helen’s Square, Ben will be playing with his band The Hyde Family Jam
David Ward Maclean David is revered as one of York’s finest performers, both outside the Minster and running The Habit open mic night
The Bramble Napskins Great young band comprising a flautist, accordionist, drummer, guitarist and saxophonist
Robert Loxley Hughes Ye Olde Starre Inn’s open mic host, he’s straight out of the 70s with flairs and full-force rock anthems
Charlie Swainston Singer songwriter who plays in La Petite Mort, Charlie has a big York folowing
Robin Pickford and Gordon Train From the legendary Y Street Band who are busking legends in York
Rupert Engledow A violinist with a unique playing style, Rupert also plays in The Hyde Family Jam
Jo Wherry Jo is a classically trained violinist whose performances offer passers-by a welcome break from the stresses of the day