I arrived in Asheville a little after noon time. I scoped out a couple of places to play as I drove through town. By the time I got there, they were taken. Asheville seems to be a busker’s haven. I already knew permits were not an issue here, but I did ask a couple of officers if they could direct me to a decent spot, as the parks were taken. They really didn’t have any suggestions, so I asked them about sidewalks. The ordinance is- sidewalks are fine as long as you don’t don’t block foot traffic and you have to move every 30 minutes. I saw there was a festival of sorts, happening so I went to check that out. I found the HQ and asked if I could play there. They had paid entertainment coming in soon, as I walked a little more I saw the stage.
I saw a place that looked good, plenty of space, so I set up there. It went well for the time I was out there. I actually stayed in that spot for almost 45 minutes. I am not sure how enforced that rule is, but I didn’t want to push it. It was the middle of the day and it was time to do my work. I went to place called Old Europe. It was a nice little place across from the garage I was parked in. All of the desserts were made there and they all looked delicious. There was also beautiful artwork on the walls. I didn’t get any names there, but one of the baristas told me of a good spot.
I could not find the spot the barista told me about. I did find another place that looked good. I hung out there and played for just over 30 minutes. Walking around Asheville, one sees many buskers- both performing and/or looking for a spot. They are not all musicians either, there were a couple specialty jugglers, and I was told about a magician. I saw 2 women, one played violin and the other played upright bass. I walked by and got about half way down the block and I heard them play Pachabel’s Canon. It was awesome, it got me to turn around and go put a tip in their case. I crossed the street and listened to the rest of it.
In Pritchard Park last night, there was African Drumming. From what I heard, that goes on every Friday. I watched them for a few minutes and it looked like fun. They were just getting started and it was already starting to fill up there. You could here them from blocks away.
I saw another officer and asked him about that ordinance, just to make sure I understood it right. He told you can be on the sidewalk for an hour, unless they hear complaints. That gave me hope, it would be a long night if I had to break down every 30 minutes and lose momentum. That officer told me about the same spot the barista did. He said the magician that was usually there, wasn’t. I found it this time and found a singing and dancing fiddler. I kept walking. Finally, I found a business that was closed with inset doors. I would not be blocking the sidewalk. It was a great location, plenty of foot traffic. I was going to stay there as long as I could. I was there for just over two hours. I finished, and just as I did, a man on the 3rd floor of condos across the street had hooked up his guitar and a mic through a PA and started sing from his window. I though it was nice he waited until I was done.
I found Asheville to be a great city, with a lot of interesting shops and nice restaurants. It seemed as though there was always something going on. The people there were great too. I am not staying a second day though, I went to Charlotte.