For the overwhelming majority of the year, Auckland's busking scene can be lukewarm at best. There's always a guy with smeared silver paint pretending to be a statue (but mostly a low-key Weeping Angel who will take any clink in his busking hat as a chance to move), the rotation of Argentine guitar buskers parked up near the backpackers on Lower Queen and a few religious sorts on Friday nights who don't really want your money, just your soul.
From January 26 to 29 the tides turn. Late January sees professional buskers and performers inundate Auckland's CBD (across Queens Wharf, Princes Wharf, Eastern Viaduct, Te Wero Island, Market Square and by the SkyTower) with a range of very entertaining street performances as part of the Auckland International Buskers Festival.
Entertainers for the 2018 season include acrobatic-comedy duo Red Trouser Show; Snap Boogie, a multi-disciplinary dancer and one of the top-12 finalists of America's Got Talent; Witty Look, a Japanese crossbreed of clowning and unicycle stunts; Nathaniel Rankin, the current Canadian champion of magic specialising in mind reading and illusion; and Bubble Laboratory, literally a show containing a of bubbles and which promises to be a 'jaw-dropping display'.