Busking: “We play music for the people”

By Roselin Walgien

Street musicians in Europe’s big cities are under pressure. While playing in the streets is still allowed and some places, music in the subway is often forbidden. Still, buskers keep trying to make money underground, for example on the subway in Barcelona. ‘We want to wake them up and get them interested in music again.’

When you travel by metro in Barcelona you will see lots of commuters going to work, students and homeless people with their dogs. This might sound like a normal metro ride in any city, but today, on this sunny winter day in January two very entertaining and inspiring musicians stand out in the crowd.

Jose Galera and The Medi call themselves MediKT, a band that roams the Barcelona metro with only a guitar and a speaker, to make sure that as many people as possible can enjoy their music.

musicians and want to catch them. While they are trying to get in, the doors close. Jose Galera and The Medi look relaxed when they see the security guards. While the door closes they laugh loudly about it and the passengers laugh too. They take their guitar and microphone back in their hands and start to make music again. They look like they’re used to this moment.

The law in Barcelona says that is only allowed for buskers who have a license to play at 23 specifically designated areas around ‘Ciutat Vella’ which is the historical centre of Barcelona. They can only entertain people between 12 pm and 2 pm and then from 5 pm to 7 pm.

According to the police, the law in Barcelona says that it is not allowed to perform in the public transport. To keep control over the situation they keep strict supervision on the buskers at the public transport.

The metro goes on and, so they do with their performance. There are different reactions to their act. Some passengers look uncomfortable while the entertainers make music beside them and others are giving money and dance to their music.

As the metro continues its journey so does the music of MediKT, which leads to different kinds of reactions. A few men and women look irritated, another guy is standing right in front of the musicians and laughs at them. Five passengers give the buskers money, two girls are dancing on the music and other passengers are busy with their own thing without giving any attention to the buskers.

Jose Galera and The Medi are very passionate about their music, “We play music for the people. We want to wake them up and get them interested in music again. This is our job, even if it does not feel like that.”