Canal carnival in Haggy… buskers not boats

Ellen Blane competing in Buskival busker contest on "Haggerston Riviera" Regent's Canal London 230814 © david.altheer@gmail

A WEEK before the Notting Hill Carnival, Hackney gets its own free festival. If you thought this was about last year’s excessively popular canal carnival, well, sorry: it’s about, uhm, buskers.

Twenty of the urban adornments will perform on six stages at four venues on the Haggerston Riviera.

Riviera? Yep, the once-dread row of industrial slums on the Regent’s Canal near Kingsland Road. As classy –  OK, hipster – venues have set up there, the district, above, has been rebranded.

busker (supplied pic)
Air time: busker reaches for the sky (supplied pic)
Competing busker  (supplied pic)
Competitor (supplied pic)

The one-day buskerfest at the Proud Archivist, TripSpace, Waterhouse and Tonkotsu East, below, is entitled the Riviera Buskival. (Smell the money: those marketing people again.)

Obviously, there’s a high risk of the curse of the Underground, Streets of London, Smoke on the Water, or Blowin’ in the Wind assailing your ears but, hey, there might also be a standout performance by an embryonic star, because the acts have been vetted.

They will include music acrobatics, right, theatre and dance. Which also means a good chance there’ll be none of those supposed statues who can be seen wobbling unconvincingly in city squares around Europe.

The best busker will win a gig at the 100 Club in Soho and other prizes. The real winners will be the restaurants.

David Altheer 190814

* Riviera Buskival, “Haggerston Riviera”, Regent’s Canal just north of Orsman Road N1 5QJ, Sat  23 August 2014, noon-11pm. Free

* Backstory: Buskers blowing in the Vortex

Waterhouse resto in Orsman Rd Hoxton Hackney London 230814 © david.altheer@gmail
Riviera reverie: Waterhouse restaurant and, below, Tonkotsu East a few hundred metres west. Main picture shows contestant Ellen Blane strumming and singing by the canal on the day

Tonkotsu East Arch 334 1a Dunston St HaGGERSTON E8 4EB 010314 © david.altheer@gmail.com

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