Photo Essay: The Buskers of Galway

I dare anyone to try to spend time in Galway without encountering a single busker. From morning to evening these street musicians can be found along the main pedestrian street between Eyre Square and the harbor: folks of all ages and skill levels, from amateur pianists barely able to bang out “Heart and Soul”, to lively six-piece folk bands, to banjo players who sing sad songs so soulfully you’d think they’d stepped straight out of Famine-era Ireland.

Case in point: the following are buskers I encountered in just one afternoon in Galway.

While I admire anyone who is brave enough to perform in public, my favorite by far were the children. Not only because it takes a special kid to perform in front of strangers, or because they were allowed out alone at such a young age (how often do you see that anymore?) — but they were playing two very uncommon instruments (as a violist with an accordionist cousin, I have a soft spot for the unsung instruments), still played with sheet music (adorable), and they had a sense of humor. The boy in the last photo, his sign reads:

Need Money 4 Video Games!
Just Kidding!
It’s 4 Trocaire + My Music Lessons! 

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  1. jossiejk says:

    The kids are so cute! Little Biebers in the making haha!

  2. How adorable! but I hope that’s not how they’re spending their entire weekend!

    • Haha I’m sure they’re not — we walked through the main streets a few times that day and every time, the buskers we’d seen just an hour earlier (including the kids) had already been replaced by new ones. Gotta share the wealth!

      • phew. that little boy needs to get his video games, right? i wonder if there is an unwritten (or possibly written) set of rules for buskers there.

  3. Oh my gosh, I was in Galway so long ago. It was too cold for buskers (it was early January), but I loved the quaint feel of the city. Granada’s buskers are coming out now – saw a blind-folded tightrope walker this past weekend!
    I also love when people play rare musical instruments. I would have totally given the little boy some of my change. :)

    • Wow, now THAT is impressive. And yeah, I spent a good few euro on buskers that day :)

  4. travelsofadam says:

    I love buskers! I always try to drop in a few coins, too, because so many of them are actually able to bring a smile to so many passers-by.


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