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Buskers take over Kingston, Ont. for annual festival

The Buskers Rendezvous festival kicked off at the Renaissance Theatre Wednesday night for a special sneak preview.

After a two-year hiatus because of COVID-19, the festival is celebrating its 32nd year in the Limestone City.

Excitement was in the air as a small crowd was able to take in performances from just a handful of the performers that will set up shop in Kingston over the next four days. Juggling and music were just some of the many talents on display.

Many performers and artists have struggled throughout the pandemic with restrictions hampering performances.

Wednesday night, some of those in attendance said they were champing at the bit to hit the streets of Kingston this weekend.

“We’re lucky to even be here because we still kept doing this as our job even during the pandemic and that’s amazing, man. We are genuinely fortunate to continue to do music and busk and play in places like Kingston,” musical duo Walker and Wild said.

“I’ve been wanting to do this festival for a long time but I generally had scheduling conflicts, you know, or just, something comes up or whatever, so it’s my first time coming out to it. Really, really excited to do it and I’m looking really forward to a full weekend of action-packed shows,” juggler Kobbler Jay said.

The same was true for the globe-trotting juggler Richard Filby, who flew in last week from the United Kingdom.

“It feels amazing being back out on the road, travelling the world, everything has opened up again,” Filby said. “It’s such a relief because so much of a performer’s identity is based on them performing.”

The excitement the crowd showed was just a sliver of what can be expected once the festival officially begins.

With new faces and returning favourites, the residents of Kingston are in for a treat when the festival kicks off officially on Thursday.

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