Being a busker has more structure and routine than you might expect.

When you start doing it full time you start treating it like a full time job and your hours become regular, your schedule follows a pattern and your days become surprisingly predictable.

This is truer than ever during peak season; summer. Like any job, there are busy periods and quiet periods and then, of corse, there’s Christmas…But for me, the summer is my busiest time and my busking schedule is non stop. Make hay while the sun shines, as they say.

Over the years, I’ve started to be overcome with a feeling of dread as the warm weather approaches. Probably similar to the feeling in the pit of your stomach on Sunday night, when you know Monday is inevitably upon you. I’ve been lucky not to experience that end-of-the-weekend-blues since school, but I do experience it when the summer holidays are near.

Of corse I love the warm weather, finally I can busk without fingerless gloves and three pairs of socks on! And all the people, children especially! The big crowds and the thrill of entertaining, that’s why I got into this business. But summer is exhausting and wracks me with guilt.

Summer is my messy bedroom, crawling into bed and back out of it is all I have time for. Summer my is my sticky sun creamed skin.
Summer is pretty backless dresses.
Summer is my sunburnt shoulders.
Summer is the Southbank’s peaceful atmosphere suddenly shaken up by school holidays.
Summer is people everywhere.
Summer is someone always sitting in my favourite shady spot.
Summer is queueing for hours behind buskers who didn’t seem so keen to be a street performer back in February…
Summer is taking a day off and kicking myself that I’m slacking.
Summer is BBQ invitations that I have to turn down.

Summer is long, beautiful days where I fall in and out of love with my job from one hour to the next. Summer is exhausting and I spend most of it wishing it would end. Until the days start to grow shorter and the leaves start to fall off the trees and the cold sets in and I wish it would be summer all over again.


4 thoughts on “Peak Season

  1. Well you have a very professional attitude in everything you do which is what makes you the best busker I know of in London. You know how to gauge a crowd, when to sing your own songs, when to switch to well known covers. How to engage with children, when to stop to fuss a dog. And none of it is calculated, it’s all genuine and natural. You have what is described as the ‘common touch’ which is not common at all. It’s a rare and wonderful gift.
    Of course it helps that you have the best, most accurate voice on the Southbank and you write great songs. There is truly only one busker I would go out of my way to see and that is Charlotte Campbell.


  2. Hi Charlotte,
    I think you’ve just about encapsulated Summer in those last four lines and when you look back at this Summer, you should feel more than pleased with all that you’ve achieved.
    Alan is right in what he said. Every time I’ve seen you on the Southbank you’ve been incredible and your rapport with people is genuine and lovely to witness.
    The old adage is true though, that ‘you can’t please all the people all the time’. Sometimes you need to take a step back, have a rest day and be kind to yourself. The London Eye will still be there the next day, as sure as the Tube will be running on all lines (Cough!)

    ps: When I hear ‘Songbird’ I often think that sounds so like a Lily Allen song, only better.
    Looking forward to seeing the new video. Looks fun! 🙂 xx


    1. Thanks a lot Graham 🙂 your message means a lot to me. I love what I do and I love when that’s clear to the people who come and listen to me busking. I love people and I love sharing positivity!
      Taking a rest day is always such a good reflective time for me and I’m glad of it, even if I do regret not going out and busking whenever the sun shines!


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