Buskers and entertainers seen roaming and livening up Docklands

Buskers and entertainers seen roaming and livening up Docklands
Kaylah Joelle Baker

After a long break from the world of busking, Docklands resident Kyle Tricarico is making the most of Melbourne’s waived busking permit fees to help bring some life back to NewQuay Promenade.

The free permits were issued back in October last year during a Future Melbourne Committee meeting to help revitalise the city during summer and they have been put in place until March 31.

“Recently I have seen a couple of buskers in the City of Melbourne and because there has been this whole new incentive to encourage street performers, I got myself a permit and performed for three hours at a time, in two different spots in Docklands,” Kyle said.

“It was my first time singing by myself in public with an acoustic guitar because I used to busk just playing my guitar.”

Growing up with a “real passion for playing music”, Kyle never considered himself to be a singer until he joined a band where no-one else in the band was “prepared to step up and learn how to sing.”



Taking it upon himself to learn, busking in Docklands is now perfect practice for Kyle who has moved from his home on the Mornington Peninsula, where his band resides, to an apartment in Docklands during the university study period.

“I have had really positive feedback and ended up getting approached by one of the restaurant owners, along the NewQuay boardwalk, to perform outside his shop,” Kyle said.

Spotted around Docklands throughout January, Kyle remains “positive” about the role busking plays in livening up the city, despite people once again working from home rather than in their city offices.

“As nice as it would be to play in busy times, I am happy to busk in the not-so-busy times because it is just good fun getting out there. Families are still coming and sitting down and there are plenty of people walking around,” Kyle said.

While being mindful of the volume of his performances, due to one elderly resident expressing their concerns, Kyle has said the majority of feedback from Docklands residents has been “extremely positive.”

“I had people coming down from their apartment while I was playing to chuck some money in and thank me for playing and giving them some live music on their Friday afternoon while they were having a drink outside on the balcony,” he said.

For a long time, Melbourne has been recognised for live entertainment and busking, and it is something that has been noticeably lacking due to the pandemic.

But determined to regain this aspect of the city nd increase visitation, the City of Melbourne has created a $1.75 million City Activation Grant program – an initiative Lord Mayor Sally Capp said would “surprise and delight Victorians.”

“I am thrilled to see the first round of events come to life as we soak up everything marvellous Melbourne has to offer in 2022,” Cr Capp said.

Two of the eight activations included in the first portion of the program, Snuff Puppets and Street Performance Australia, are arranged for Docklands in the first half of the year.

And already seen roaming around NewQuay Promenade throughout January are the large-scale “Beasts of Oz” puppets, with another visit to the area scheduled for Sunday, February 20.

From buskers to puppets and street theatre performers, Docklands is on the way to being a central place for all creatives to express themselves.

Keen to continue sharing his musical talents with the community, Kyle Tricarico said he was aiming to continue busking in February, from Wednesday through to Friday. And, “depending on [his] schedule”, possibly Saturday.

“I know the city is getting busier on Saturdays, and I want to be playing to as many people as possible,” he said •

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