P.E.I.'s first busker festival planned for Labour Day weekend

Deserie Murphy comments@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on April 7, 2013

Jason Henderson "Kobbler Jay" performs feats with audience member Kate Van Gerven promoting the inaugural P.E.I. busker festival, slated for Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 on the Charlottetown waterfront.

Guardian photo

The inaugural P.E.I. Busker Festival Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 is being billed as a free, family-friendly event which will showcase buskers with talents from around the world, some of whom have broken multiple world records.

With late shows at The Guild and performances all day at the Peakes Wharf, the festival will be entertaining audiences day and night.

Jason Henderson, also known as Kobbler Jay, is the festival’s artistic director and can be seen walking over glass barefoot while juggling fire among other amazing feats.

Henderson, originally from Niagara Falls, has performed five times before on P.E.I.  and said he’s always excited to come back.

“The people are always great and the scenery is great,” said Henderson.

He said the idea for holding the event came last year on Canada Day.

Henderson said it is going to be a fantastic event with great performers from across Canada, the United States and even a person from Argentina who has broken five world records.

“People are going to see stuff at this event that you can’t see anywhere else.”

Candace Woodside, an operation manager for the event, said the main location at Peakes Wharf will be the perfect atmosphere.

“It’s going to be perfect for the beautiful scenic value,” said Woodside.

We’ve gotten good vibes from businesses because we’re providing a positive economic impact, said Woodside.

“Preparation has been running smoothly.”

The New Hot 105.5 is the media sponsor for the event, said Woodside.

“The 105.5 demographic matches the demographic for the demographic we want for the festival.”

 Busker festival president Steve Larkin said the level of busking entertainment is world renowned.

“It is a very worthwhile endeavour,” said Larkin

“After Old Home Week, it’s been our experience at the Peake’s Wharf area that tourism starts a bit of a decline. It’s our goal with the P.E.I. Busker Festival to increase the amount of visitors, especially families, to the waterfront on Labour Day Weekend,” Larkin said.

Henderson is no stranger to Prince Edward Island, having performed previously with the Festival of Lights and SummerFest. He says Charlottetown is an ideal location for a busker festival.

“The people on P.E.I. are some of the best in the world and Charlottetown’s setting, combined with its rich history and cultural diversity, makes it the best location for a busker festival in the entire East Coast,’’ said Henderson.

Other performers confirmed include Victor Rubilar (www.victorrubilar.com), Fire Guy (www.fireguy.ca), James Jordan (www.fuzzyhair.net), Trulee Odd (www.truleeoddshow.com), and Dave Cox (www.dangerouscomedy.com).