Entertainment at the Market

Pickled Okra perform in the Market on a sunny March afternoon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Pickled Okra perform in the Market on a sunny March afternoon. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ballard Farmers Market is always full of activity, including a wide variety of street performers, also know as “buskers.” These performers come to the Market on their own. The Market does not hire them. The result is an explosion of democratic expression, from music to magic to juggling to circus acts that serve to add to the color and experience of the market. But remember, the Market is not paying these folks to be there. They rely on your generosity to make a living. If you like what you see and hear, please tip performers generously.

If you would like to perform at Ballard Farmers Market, please check in at the Market Information Desk at the Vernon Place end of the Market for guidelines.

12 Responses to “Entertainment at the Market”

  1. Zachary D. Lyons Says:

    This Sunday (tomorrow) will be one of the most hectic days of the year at Ballard Farmers Market, because this is Ballard Seafood Fest weekend. As such, parking and load zones will be all but non-existant. We do not normally arrange for load-in/out for buskers, but this weekend, it will be impossible for us to deal with. Also, the Market will be more cramped than usual, meaning there may not actually be space for a table. You’ll have to check in with the Market Desk, as is normal busking procedure anyway. And keep in mind that when the Festival cranks up around noon, the Main Stage, which is located at the north end of the Market at 22nd & Ballard Ave, will be quite loud, further affecting busking ability.

    I suggest you come as early as possible, and come prepared to carry your gear for a bit of a distance. Otherwise, if it sounds like too much of a hassle for you, you might want to reschedule to next Sunday.

  2. Heather Engman Says:

    Hello, I’m planning to sign up to busk this Sunday (7/13/14) at the Ballard Farmer’s Market, and wonder what the unloading/loading procedures are (I have a small table and two chairs). Thank you.

  3. Zachary D. Lyons Says:

    We have never formally had any such vendor participate in Ballard Farmers Market, though someone may have set up on their own in a doorway or on the sidewalk. The most likely place to find such a person would be a the Fremont Sunday Market, just down the road from us.

  4. Lauren Says:

    I am looking for a clairevoyant/medium that was set up at the market about 7 years ago, (maybe even since then, but I know for sure in summer/fall of 2006). Does anyone know her name or business name?

  5. Zachary D. Lyons Says:

    You are talking about the Cast Iron Maidens.



  6. Chuck Morison Says:

    I was at the Ballard Market on Sunday 5/5 and enjoyed a duo by the name of Iron (something) Maidens. I want to buy their CD but don,t know their name. Help

  7. Zachary D. Lyons Says:

    We do not have electricity access to offer you at the Ballard Farmers Market, unfortunately. Also, generally speaking, if something needs power to make music, it tends to generate more volume than we prefer to have. Bottom line, as stated above in the blog, if you are interested in performing at the Market, please check in with the Market Info Tent beforehand. Thanks!

  8. Opera on Tap Seattle Says:

    Hi Zachary!
    Opera on Tap Seattle would love to come down and sing some arias some Sunday but, we need to bring a keyboard….Are there place to plug one in? Or would we need to set up a deal with a vendor?
    thanks and cheers 🙂

    Ksenia Popova
    Managing Diva
    Opera on Tap Seattle

  9. Zachary D. Lyons Says:

    I can’t honestly answer your question here, as I am not certain I understand what you say you do. But you are either a vendor or a busker. If a vendor, you will need to follow the guidelines for vendors, which in your case would be a crafter. If a busker, follow those guidelines, which means checking in at the Market Info tent.

  10. Tasha Feng Says:

    Would it be considered busking if I did anime portrait drawings for people on the street? I wouldn’t be taking up that much space at all. I’m only bringing a square table around 3.5 x 3.5 ft and a small easel that goes on top of it. Prices would be cheap, too. Outlines would be $5, shaded outlines $10, and full color $20
    Thanks for reading this!

  11. Zachary D. Lyons Says:

    Hi Tim, Unfortunately, we don’t book music at Ballard Farmers Market. Folks just show up. As we state on this page, folks who want to perform at the Market should check in at the Market Info Desk on the day they wish to play to get guidelines. Thanks for your interest, and hopefully, we’ll see you on the streets of Ballard.

  12. Tim Fast Says:

    I am booking for 2011 and thought I would contact you about booking a show. I know you are busy and appreciate that so I won’t take much of your time. I will leave you with a link to check me out. There are two videos so you can see and hear for yourself. One is of my performance at The Sylvia Theater in York,SC. and the other is a recent video at Red House Records with John Gorka and Cliff Eberhardt.Also you will find audio recordings,bio and more.
    I am very excited about my new CD to be released soon already winning awards for some of the songs.I can promise this………every venue that has hired me has had me back again. I think that says it all but please judge for yourself. In 2010 I played Farmers Markets in MN,WI,ID,MT,WA and OR. and have been invited back for the 2011 Season.I just love the energy of the Market and the many people I meet.
    I hope I can share my songs with you soon!
    Your consideration is greatly appreciated!
    Tim Fast

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