A funny thing happened on the way to launching Bards on Boats
Whilst awaiting our license to begin actor-led tours of the Grand Union Canal, the neighboring borough of Kensington and Chelsea passed a law restricting public performance on Portobello Road, for 100s of years a place where street performers have entertained the public. Overnight, dozens of artists were out of work. But the authorities’ dominion does not extend to the nearby canal.
In partnership with the Union Tavern, we launched a month-long program of thrice-weekly performances we called the “Buskers’ Cafe.” Among the first to play was David Fisher, a spokesperson for Keep Streets Live!, a charity which pushes back against Public Space Protection Ordinances (PSPOs) which equate busking with “anti-social behavior”, and are the latest threat to buskers’ livelihood in cities throughout England. Another spokesperson, Chester Bingley, visited, and the next thing we knew, our flagship vessel Molly Anna was designated headquarters for a “Buskers’ Pow-wow” featuring Musicians Union workshops and panel discussions on management of arts in the public space.
After a month of thrice-weekly performances, it’s clear that audiences and musicians alike love the idea of live canal-side music. Stay tuned for future program offerings while we negotiate corporate sponsorship to make the program permanent.
Bards On Boats Canal Trips - STARTING SOON!
Discover the hidden world of London’s canals with Bards on Boats. Immerse yourself in history, learn the fundamentals of canal boat operation, or just kick back with a "cuppa" while professional entertainers -- steeped in canal lore -- introduce you to the 200-year old serpentine transportation network that helped kick off the industrial revolution.
Whether you are looking for a peaceful respite from the busy streets above, a unique setting for a business retreat, or the educational and aerobic exercise of learning how to run a flight of locks, Bards on Boats offers a range of experiences for small parties (<12).
For larger groups -- weddings, conferences, business promotions, etc. -- we partner with canal side pubs and other venues to use our flagship vessel "Molly Anna", as a stage for performance and short excursions.
Bards On Boats Now Hosting Popup Events!
Now accepting enquiries for all manner of special events on the newly restored wide-beam “Molly Anna” while crusing and mooring on the canals. Available for all-day and half-day use. Host an event such as:
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If you would like more information, want to share ideas, or to arrange a free viewing click right here >
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