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Revelation St Mary's bring buskers to Ashford town centre in partnership with Ashford Borough Council

The High Street has been given a musical makeover thanks to a new busking pilot scheme headed by Revelation St Mary’s in partnership with Ashford Borough Council.

Musicians have been given a two hour slot on a Friday afternoon to perform in the town centre as part of an eight-week trial.

At the end of the third week into the scheme, Revelation manager Karen Trimmings said: “It’s really early days so we are still finding our feet but the feedback has been really positive and the people who auditioned have been fantastic.

Buskers perform in Ashford town centre. Picture: Karen Trimmings
Buskers perform in Ashford town centre. Picture: Karen Trimmings

“It’s really good for us to be able to engage with Kent based musicians and artists and it’s also a really good platform to showcase some of the local talent.

“We would definitely like to carry on, maybe looking at a different day of the week and maybe not as frequently.”

However regular buskers, Ashford residents Stan Hollingsworth and Nathan J. Walker of The Dog Tooth Duo, fear the initiative could introduce some unwelcome restrictions to performers who have been playing freely in the centre for years.

Nathan said: “I honestly think it’s a great idea and look forward to it bringing in a lot of new talent and different people but the one thing that worries me is what is going to happen afterwards.

The Dog Tooth Duo busking in Ashford Town Centre
The Dog Tooth Duo busking in Ashford Town Centre

“You can’t tie a busker down to time slot as successful days are generally weather dependent and it would be sad to see an introduction of licences.

“We live here, so we play here and we want to make the town centre a nice place to be.

“We keep our volume low and respectful and have never had any negative comments.

“The initiative will be a good idea if they do it right and do not kill off the busking afterwards.”

But planners behind the scheme insist they are not intending to step on anyones toes.

Karen continued: “We are not trying to replace anything that happens or push anyone out who usually plays.

“Before we started this scheme we did chat to some of the regular buskers and they were really happy about what we are doing.

“But it is interesting that Ashford does not have any code of conduct for performers, that’s perhaps something that can be developed and looked at.”

To catch some of the action, head down to the Lower High Street on Friday afternoons between 12pm and 2pm.

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