Edinburgh has a beautiful Christmas Market complete with little Merchant’s log-cabin-style huts, lights, music and fairground rides. The huge Ferris Wheel lights up and can be seen from far away. The Royal Mile and city centre was packed with tourists on royal mile so I had a quick lunch then grabbed my flute.
I played on the mile, and then near the beautiful Market, all lit up for the gloom of short winter days. There was so many people it was hard to move. I must have played to about 800 people tonight as they passed, possibly more if I included people within earshot. Something new I had to deal with was weirdos within the crowd. A man who seemed pretty inebriated was fascinated by my flute. For a few seconds he stood nose to nose with me, muttering, pressing at the keys of my flute randomly, as if trying to play a tune. I kept playing despite this, ignoring him, and he moved on. That’s the biggest distraction I’ve had to deal with so far. With so many people around, I felt that he probably wouldn’t be a threat, but this made me consider what I would do next time. It was an eye-opener that where there are lots of people, and I’m drawing attention, I sometimes might have to deal with some nutters. I realised I really need to pay more attention to the streets and keep a look out for people who might cause me trouble or try to steal my flute.
It was the peak of Christmas Shopping Time, people holding onto their money, and I’m not the best or most exciting busker in the world. I earned less than £5, about 5p of that from the crossing near the Market. My pitch by a road crossing probably wasn’t a good idea, people rushing past me to cross to the opposite pavement, but the other places were taken or swamped by Christmas music from the market’s speakers. It’s still money though. And after today I’m much less scared of our second gig!