June 17, 2013
Once an entertainment agency blog has covered the usual topics like Summer Entertainment or Tribute Acts or Teambuilding Ideas, then moved on to the quirkier blog topics like Top 5 Speakers on Margaret Thatcher and Top 5 Saxophone Facts – what’s usually left are nebulous terms like ‘Street’ or ‘Urban’ entertainment. So here’s a blog about Street Entertainment...
What do we mean by Street entertainment? Acts with Street in their name? Booth Street West? Watling Street? Silk Street? Acts that perform on streets? Like jugglers? Or mimes? No. We mean ‘street’ like baggy pants and baseball caps turned sideways. It’s probably easier if I just start listing acts.
Breakdancing – or B-Boying as it’s better known in hip hop circles (the exact kind of circles I generally run in) – first gained popularity in 1970s New York but it didn’t reach the mainstream media till the early 80s. This dynamic, hyperkinetic style of dance is brilliant for shaking up an event and when deployed as a surprise act – like, say, breakdancing waiters – can add real ‘wow factor’ to an evening’s entertainment.
Clue’s in the name with this one – this rough and ready twist on close-up magic became a worldwide sensation in the 90s thanks to the popularity of creepy-never-smiling trick merchant David Blaine. Blaine has since shifted his focus on to attention grabbing endurance stunts but a new generation of illusionists like Dynamo, Damien O’Brien and Josh Brett have taken up the Street Magic baton, performing a selection of breathtaking tricks in an unmistakably urban style.
Thoroughly modern as it may sound, people have been using their voices to imitate percussion sounds for thousands of years. Beatboxing as we recognise it today however, has its origins in the early 80s hip-hop scene where it was used to mimic the sounds of first generation drum machines. These days, plenty of acts incorporate beatboxing into their performances, from vocal harmony group The Magnets to all girl beatboxing troupe The Boxettes.
Though it developed as an offshoot of military obstacle course training, parkour found a home in urban spaces where practitioners could use their surroundings and their bodies to move quickly and fluidly through the environment. And while it’s not suitable for every event – space is always a big consideration – Freerunning can be an innovative use of a venue space and can combine thrillingly with other acts such as musicians... like this.
Street Skills Show
Combining record holders from a variety of urban sports such as BMX biking, Basketball, football keepy-uppy and a couple of the acts already featured above, the Street Skills stage show is a fantastic centre-piece for events with an Urban Feel, taking accomplished street performers and athletes and putting them centre-stage. It’s also a better fit for this list than Janet Street Porter who I was seriously considering putting as the last item here.
For more info on booking Street Entertainment for corporate events or private functions – head over to our contact page and get in touch.