Hesitant at first, Andrea Dismont-Trott did a fantastic job after being pulled up on stage by Canadian street performer Mighty Mike, during the Nelson Buskers Festival, on Trafalgar St on Saturday. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

Locals join in busker fun

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It wasn’t just street performers from around the world who had people in stitches at the Nelson Buskers Festival over the weekend, a few locals got in on the act as well – even if they weren’t too keen.

The festival sees performances not just on Nelson’s main street, which was held in conjunction with the Trafalgar St Market Day, but at Fairfield Park, Mapua Wharf and an adult-only cabaret at The Boathouse.

This year’s acts included Alakazam ‘The Human Knot’ from the Australia, Biggest Little Circus from New Zealand, Kamikaze Fireflies from the USA, Mat Ricardo from the UK and Mighty Mike from Canada.

Audience participation always plays a big part in the Nelson Buskers Festival, from the rapturous applause given to the street performers through to the individual helpers who are dragged up with varying degrees of compliance.

Andrea Dismont-Trott, of Hope, was one of the lucky, or unlucky, souls who found herself in the spotlight during Mighty Mike’s unusual strong man show.
“I was just waving at my son who was by Mac’s Brew Bar,” says Andrea. “And my friend pushed my hand up higher, he set me up. [When I got pulled up] I was like, how did I get into this, I hate this stuff.”

Andrea’s contribution to the show centred around a card trick and, after selecting a card and placing it back in the deck, Mike continued his show with the promise he would find her selection, even after tearing the deck in half.

Just when the audience and Andrea thought the card had been forgotten and the show was at an end, Mike ripped off his shorts to reveal her card in the most unexpected finale. “He was a fantastic performer, great charisma and I didn’t know how he was going to find my card,” says Andrea.

“I love communities that put on things for its citizens and this is just wonderful for people to be out with their families and friends on a sunny day in summer. It’s free and I love the whole donation aspect of it. My friend was saying that there’s something on every weekend for us to do, it’s just wonderful to live here.”