Just like a real big city neighborhood, Capitol Hill now has a subway station. And like a big city of the future, you can use your phone in the subway tunnels. Starting today, our subway will get another important feature — station buskers.
Sound Transit began a six-month trial Thursday allowing busking on Capitol Hill Station and University of Washington Station property:
Sound Transit believes that allowing buskers to perform at the University of Washington and Capitol Hill light rail stations will help retain existing users, as well as attract new users, and is consistent with promoting transit-related activities. Accordingly, Sound Transit is adopting this pilot program for a 6 month period to assess the feasibility of adopting a permanent policy regarding performances by buskers.
The six-month Pilot Busking Program runs through February and comes with a strict set of policy requirements including busking areas — “designated with a silver star” — and restrictions on everything from how long a performer can stay at a location (two hours) to amplification (don’t do it.) The full guidelines are below.
The silver star locations can be found in two areas of each station:
Sound Transit is leaving the spaces to be managed by the buskers as far as who plays where and when. “Access to these performance sites is on a first-come, first-served basis. Any Fare Paid Zone requirements are waived while performing,” the agency’s documentation reads.
The music and performance will join stations already notable for their art including Capitol Hill Station’s Walking Fingers and Crossed Pinkies enamel panel murals by artist Ellen Forney and the giant Jet Kiss sculpture made from A4 fighter jet parts hanging above the station platform. Riders who attended the opening ceremonies at Capitol Hill Station also enjoyed buskers deployed throughout the facility including these folks:
Sound Transit says it will be evaluating the program throughout the trial and will assess whether to continue or expand the busking zones after February.