London

Buskers to audition for London Underground licences

A busker plays at an Underground station Image copyright Dan Kitwood
Image caption Shortlisted applicants will audition in front of a panel of music experts

Auditions to busk at London Underground (LU) stations are being held for the first time in two years.

Successful applicants will be granted one of 100 new licences to perform at designated locations on the network.

Only soloists and duos will be allowed to audition to access the 1,800 bookable slots each week shared by the current crop of 250 buskers.

"Busking has become an essential part of London Underground's identity," said LU managing director Mark Wild.

Ed Sheeran, Bob Geldof and Jessie J are among the stars who have previously busked on the Tube.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ed Sheeran is among the pop stars who began their musical careers busking on the London Underground

Musicians are being asked to apply online by 13 August.

Shortlisted applicants will then audition in front of a panel of music experts and operations directors at Transport for London (TfL) at a range of busking hotspots and music venues around the capital.

Deputy mayor for culture and the creative industries Justine Simons said: "London is a world leader for culture.

"Around every corner there is a cultural gem bringing our city to life, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the atmosphere buskers create on the Underground."

Mr Wild added: "This new wave of auditions will bring in a range of musicians who will continue the strong tradition of entertaining our customers with a high standard of music."

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