I often talk about how a great lifestyle is the number one benefit of being a busker. As I travelled north from Perth in Western Australia mid last year to headline some gigs at the Exmouth Whale Shark Festival I discovered a lot more about this often overlooked feature of life as a musician on the street. Here’s a story that initially may not seem to have much relevance to street performers, particularly if you live on the other side of the planet, ie Europe or America. I would urge every busker and musician to do this trip at least once in your life time. Travel north from Perth to Darwin along Australia’s west coast and you’ll discover some of the most beautiful coastline and beaches in the world with the added benefit of spectacular venues and little towns just begging for buskers to play at.
Another unexpected benefit of the busking muso lifestyle is the regular invites to go on some great trips to help promote companies who are doing great things to educate people about our environment. I am always willing to assist great companies like Ningaloo Blue who are working in a way that helps to conserve Australia’s magnificent natural wonders.
I’ve previously mentioned getting a free tour up Katherine Gorge, in Australia’s Northern Territory after doing a wonderful gig there. Not to mention some amazing adventures in outer Mongolia, Southern Siberia and a few other isolated, way out places around the world. However, it was with both fear and excitement that I met the news with Ningaloo Blue who had invited me for a tour off the Western Australian coast near Exmouth. Fear, because it kind of sounds weird jumping into the ocean miles out to sea with only a snorkel and a couple of fins into water full of sharks? Who in their right mind would do this?
That’s what was passing thru my head as I lept off the boat into the deep, clear blue of the Indian Ocean. On the positive side I figured I had done plenty of gigs both on the street and in drunken bars and other venues that were full of a different species of shark…..intoxicated humans! Not always as friendly or accommodating as the extremely passive Whale shark. So I reasoned that if I could survive putting myself up in front of all those folks on the street when busking or performing in rowdy, festive, bars for so long then I could just as easily go for a swim with some gentle giants of the sea.
And what a beautiful journey it turned out to be. Ningaloo Blue made it one of the most pleasurable adventures of my life. At no stage did we ever feel threatened or in danger. The dive included seeing my youngest boys Rui(9) and Banjo(11) jumping in and swimming around like experts next to the giant, but extremely gentle, Whale Shark.
The Ningaloo Blue staff made it all so easy with their approach that the day flowed beautifully. As a result we’ve ended up with a great dvd of the whole adventure that the kids can watch and show their friends to prove they had an amazing adventure at such a young age. It’s a great thing to do for many reasons! It supports a way of protecting the environment (i.e. the precious coral reefs), and the sharks themselves (instead of eating them we’re communicating with them). It helps us all to educate ourselves and others about the value of preserving these reefs, in addition to providing close interaction with nature in an extremely positive way. It’s great thing for kids and the elderly alike.
I’d just like to pass on my gratitude to Ningaloo Blue and all there crew for a great day. It’s been the highlight of my tour outback that has been going on for the best part of a year and covered most of Australia. I would encourage any of you travelling buskers to seek this place out and save your $ up to make sure you don’t miss this one. One gig around here and you’ll cover your cost! By the way they need musicians and street performers out in these areas so you have no excuse.
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Johnnie Mac is a world class, professional, leading street performer, turned celebrated musician. He is the only Aussie Professional Busker who provides a fast, reliable and sure-fire Busking System that can transform any busker into a well paid and highly acclaimed entertainer enjoying a remarkably exciting lifestyle. To discover 101 Essential Tips to Have More Fun and Earn More Money Busking visit http://www.BuskerWorld.com/theBuskersBible