Local musicians will be harmonizing along Loockerman Street this summer

Friday, May 17 was a historic day in downtown Dover, ’cause that’s when busking came to the Capital City.

What’s busking, you ask?

Busking is “the activity of playing music in the street or another public place for voluntary donations” as defined by Wikipedia. And beginning Friday, May 17, downtown Dover began allowing busking by community members.

Dover City Council at-large representative Tim Slavin, initiator of the program, along with members of the Downtown Dover Partnership launched the program in front of the Dover Art League. Several members of the public and city council were on hand as featured musicians Mike Miller and Rick Hudson, both from Dover’s Friends of Folk, played guitar and harmonica on Loockerman Street.

“Busking is a way to bring more arts into the city. And while this activity typically focuses on musicians, we are encouraging street performances by poets and plein-air artists, as well,” Slavin said, mentioning also that busking not only creates a welcoming, lighthearted outdoor setting for visitors, shoppers, and anyone walking and driving through downtown, but it also provides a venue for artists to showcase their talents and in turn, receive gratuities from appreciative patrons. Musicians and performers will typically be “unamplified.”
The program will be piloted between the library and South Bradford Street and will feature musicians from Dover’s Friends of Folk, with Dover High School and the Inner City Cultural League soon to follow. Buskers are expected for lunch crowds, between

11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

Hours and locations could be expanded expand to include late afternoons, weekends, and during downtown events. Pre-selected spaces for buskers to perform have been approved for use by the business or property owners and will be identified by a unique graphic. Those spaces are sizeable enough to allow for pedestrian flow and many of them feature overhangs or canopies in the event of poor weather conditions.