Berkshire Busk! brings music and entertainment downtown

As part of the Berkshire Busk!, performances will take place at various locations in Great Barrington town center including Railroad Street, The Triplex/Barrington Courtyard, Berkshire Co-op Courtyard, First Congregational Church and in front of several businesses on Main Street . Photo of Berkshire Busk!

Greater Barrington— Downtown will be filled with musical performances and performance acts like this year’s season of The Berkshire Busk! keep on going.

The second season kicked off at the end of May and will run until Saturday, September 3.

The event will continue on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday afternoons from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The term “busk” or “busking” originated in 1860s England as a term for street performers performing in public spaces.

Over the years, communities across the United States have started their own street programs and events.

As part of the event, performances will take place throughout downtown at various locations including Railroad Street, The Triplex/Barrington Courtyard, Berkshire Co-op Courtyard, First Congregational Church and in front of several businesses on Main Street.

The event was founded by event co-organizer Eugene Carr, who told The Berkshire Edge he came up with the idea during the pandemic.

“We needed something that would be a great opportunity to bring people together and a way to have safe outdoor performances,” Carr said. “The idea was to have an outdoor festival in the streets and invite local talent to come and perform for the community. When the event started last year, there was this explosion of interest and we received 100 applications to play.

Carr said that over the past two seasons the event has attracted all types of performers, including musicians, aerialists, dancers and magicians.

“The idea is to create a new kind of artistic community to bring people downtown,” he said. “This type of event brings customers to stores and restaurants that have lost business during the pandemic.”

During the Saturday July 16 event, Railroad Street was closed to traffic to allow performances by The Fremonts and magician Darren Yong, and throughout the city center there were performances by The Secrets of French Girls, Christina Dellea, Aimee Van Dyne and Jerry Posner.

“Great Barrington is an amazing community,” Carr said. “We have a community of performers and artists living among us who are all amazing. The Berkshire Busk! is the celebration of a great city.

For more information on The Berkshire Busk!, including its weekly schedule, visit the event website.

Check out footage from Berkshire Busk performances! from Saturday July 16 below. Video by editor Shaw Israel Izikson.

David H. Henry