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Impressions of the Festival: Week 9

Abigail Hanna, Social Media & Content Editor

***My name is Abigail Hanna and I am the social media coordinator for BerkshireBusk! For the last two weeks of the festival, I will be taking over for our festival storyteller, Ari Jewell, to give our readers an overview of the performances.***

The second-to-last week of Berkshire Busk! gave us a tiny bit of rain, but that didn’t stop our buskers from performing this weekend along Main Street in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Two returning acrobatic performers, Lia Douillet and Madi Ward, dazzled audiences with their respective routines of rope and silk. On Friday evening, Madi’s twists and flips were accompanied by Jasperoo, a duo from Ithaca, New York who brought banjo and guitar melodies to the front lawn of the Congregational Church. Lia’s aerial silk routine on Saturday was complemented by the stories and songs of Rees Shad and the Convo Combo, a clip of which is available here on our Instagram.

Also making a return to Great Barrington this weekend were a few solo performers: Abby Lappen and Helen Hummel both brought their soulful originals on guitar and Christina Dellea kept crowds happy over near Robin’s Candy store with oldies favorites from the sixties and seventies.

A highlight of the weekend came on Saturday: Tom Dahl, known as “The Bubble Guy”, entertained kids, parents and Berkshire Busk! staff with giant bubbles to the tune of Mike Pagnani’s accordion and fiddle.

As I walked around from busker to busker this weekend, I would also run into some familiar faces on the street - two of these were Rick and Marilyn, a duo who had performed the previous weekend. After chatting to the couple for a few minutes and bidding them a good evening, it became clear to me that these performers were not only here to share their art, but to indulge in other’s as well. I cannot recount how many times in the past month that I have seen buskers walking in Great Barrington weeks before or after their performance date who are there to support their friends and fellow performers.

It feels like a good time to remember that art is made to be shared with other people: The act of busking allows individuals to flex their creativity and passion to a number of passing audiences, and sometimes, those audiences are performers themselves, even if they don’t know it yet. And this appreciation transcends genres of art: The booming band sounds of Rees Shad & the Convo Combo went along perfectly with Lia’s aerial silks, a combination of art styles I personally never would have put together myself.

As we hone in on the last weekend of the Berkshire Busk! festival and the weather starts to turn colder and gloomier, let us use this as a reminder to continue doing the small things in life that we love to do, whether that is music, painting, drawing, talking, laughing, spending time with others, or simply taking a stroll down Main Street.


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