Tuesday 3 January 2012

Stronger Christchurch World Buskers Festival

Get your bum on a seat!

People keen to see the mad-cap antics of the world's best street performers can now put dibs on a seat at some of the Stronger Christchurch World Buskers Festival most popular shows.

After full-house shows in the dome venue last year, a new system has been introduced this year that allows people to 'secure a seat' for selected evening shows ahead of the festival's start on January 19.

"The five shows in the dome venues will be incredibly popular this year and if previous years are anything to go by, people queue up early in the day to get in via donation at the door, however some will still miss out due to the huge demand. With this new secure-a-seat option we're giving people a chance to get their bum on a seat even before the festival begins," says festival director Jo Blair.

"If people have certain shows they desperately want to see then we really recommend they go online at and secure their spot at one of the five shows on offer. A total of 50 per cent of seats will still be available on the day and these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, as in previous years."

The five evening shows for which people can secure a seat all take place at either The Press Club or the Inflatable Dome - two of the core venues for this year's festival.

There are free shows on the main stage until 8pm every night, and the Stronger Christchurch Busker Comedy Club runs from 7pm -10.30pm every night.

"We've got some fantastic acts lined up to perform in these venues, including Sam Simmons, one of the most daring and unconventional comics in Australia.

Another crowd-pleaser will be ThisSideUp Acrobats, whose heart-stopping show Controlled Falling Project at The Press Club is going to be hugely popular. These guys are really quirky and have amazing acrobatic skills - they're just a delight to watch," says Jodi Wright, the festival's artistic director.

Also performing at The Press Club will be Sam Wills, who has come up with a brand new show for festival audiences. The Boy with Tape on his Face - More Tape has horses, gun fights and a touch of John Lennon and is strictly for those aged over 16.

Sam Simmons is a cult figure within the Australian comedy scene and has picked up numerous awards and played to sell out houses with his solo Melbourne Comedy Festival shows Tales of the Erotic Cat in 2006, The Sex & Science of Boredom in 2007, Where Can I Win a Bear Around Here? in 2008, and Sam Simmons In The Net Starring Sandra Bullock in 2009.

Simmons has never visited Christchurch before and is excited about making his debut appearance at the festival although the recent seismic activity has made him a little nervous.

"I don't know what it would be like to go through something so severe coming from the suburbs of Adelaide, but I hope I can bring some silliness to maybe forget some of the bad stuff,'' Simmons says.

In the Inflatable Dome audiences can put dibs on seats for Nothing But Stand Up: The Divas and the Buskers Burlesque.

Back for the second year running, Buskers Burlesque will titivate audiences with risqué burlesque and vaudevillian acts that leave little to the imagination. Hosted nightly at 10.30pm by The Lackies it's not for the faint-hearted and is strictly for adults.

Nothing But Stand Up: The Divas will see Michele A'Court hosting some of the funniest women in Australasia, including Cal Wilson and Justine Smith in the big Inflatable Dome.

"Individually these women are hilarious; together they'll be a riot. It's going to a hugely unpredictable but wildly entertaining show so get in early and secure a seat," Ms Wright says.

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