Buskers have new pitch to perform at Yorkshire railway station

Network Rail launches busking pitch at busy station

Janine Booth - Contributor Add a Comment 5 Min Read
The Dunwells, Network Rail, Found in Music, and Leeds Beckett University at the launch of Busk in Stations at Leeds // Credit: Network Rail

has launched a busking spot at City station.

It has worked with Leeds Beckett University and Found in Music to provide a space in Leeds City station for up-and-coming local musicians to play.

As Leeds is the UK's second-busiest station outside London, and has recently increased its capacity, musicians will have a substantial audience of passengers travelling to and from the city.

Network Rail officially launched the busking site this week (Wednesday 17 April).

Eight artists and groups performed, led by local indie-folk-pop band The Dunwells.

The Dunwells headline the launch event
The Dunwells headline the launch event // Credit: Network Rail

Also performing were Her Orange Coat, Augustin Bousfield, Joseph Moore, Jake Keating, Nick Keating, Hollie Mackenzie, and Iz & Liv. Each act performed three songs to the gathered crowd.

The Leeds initiative follows the success of Busk in London, a scheme which started in 2015 and under which thousands of musicians have busked in Network Rail-managed railway stations and at landmarks in the capital.

London Underground has been operating a licensed busking scheme since 2003.

Iz and Liv // Credit: Network Rail

Bassist Simon Rix from the Kaiser Chiefs gave his support to the Leeds busking scheme. The original Busk in London scheme is supported by stars including Nile Rodgers, Fatboy Slim, KT Tunstall and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Leeds City is the first station outside London to have a regular busking spot.

The spot is located on the station's main concourse, close to Marks & Spencer. Network Rail hopes to expand the scheme to other stations around the country.

Musicians interested in performing at Leeds station's busking site can find out more information on the Busk In Stations website.

Augustin Bousfield // Credit: Network Rail

“We are thrilled that we can offer musicians the opportunity to come and showcase their talents at their music at Leeds station.

“We are constantly looking at ways that we can improve the passenger experience at Leeds station, and, through this initiative, we can't wait to hear the station filled with the sound of new music.

“It has been great to work with Leeds Beckett University and Found in Music on this project and we are looking forward to that partnership continuing.”

Julie Swift, Station Interface Manager for Network Rail at Leeds City station

“It's brilliant that Leeds will be the first station outside of London to welcome buskers as part of the Busk in Stations programme. Leeds has a rich music heritage that is second to none, and today, the city buzzes with live music, whether in grassroots venues or from those artists who include Leeds on their tours. 

“At a time when up-and-coming musicians need all the support they can get to access venues, build a fan base or get their own music heard, we've seen that busking has a really valuable role to play.”

Simon Rix, Kaiser Chiefs

We are delighted to be part of Busk in Stations at Leeds City Station in partnership with Network Rail and Leeds Beckett University.  

“Building on the long running and highly successful Network Rail and Busk in London programme that has been running for 10 years at Network Rail stations in London, it is now the turn of talented musicians from Leeds and the surrounding area to enhance the visitor and passenger experience at Leeds City station.  

“Busking is a hugely valuable part of the grassroots music scene and Leeds Station will now give performers a great platform to showcase their music and build their fan base.”

Kate Jones, Programme Director for Busk in London / Found in Music

“Leeds has a powerful, thriving music scene. The Busk in Stations partnership between Network Rail, Leeds Beckett University and Found in Music is an extraordinary example of how working collaboratively across broad geographical areas of the UK enables positive and exciting opportunities to flourish. 

“Leeds Beckett University, Leeds School of Arts is honoured to be playing its part in the continued growth of the cultural provision of Leeds and beyond.” 

James Chinneck, Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, Leeds School of Arts

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