Busking at 30: Subway Music Festival

Thirty years after New York City constitutionally protected subway performance, BuskNY is pleased to announce “Busking at 30,” a one-day music festival on August 23rd, in celebration of an art form that has long given voice to the city’s wealth of musical traditions and genres.


The festival, to be held in Brooklyn’s Von King Park, is timed to coincide with the passage of City Council Resolution #705, which recognizes the 30th anniversary of the 1985 court case People v. Manning. That case is known among performers for granting constitutional protection to artistic performance in New York City’s subways, thereby defining the unique musical diversity of the city’s underground.

At the festival, some of the city’s best known subway performers will offer intimate performances at spots through the park during the afternoon. Then, thanks to the generosity of supporters of BuskNY’s ongoing Busking at 30 crowdfunding campaign, the park amphitheater will be electrified from 5:00 to 7:00 by subway fan favorites like banjo duo Coyote and Crow, American Idol contestant Najah Lewis, and the same guitarist named in the original 1985 court case, Roger Manning.


With the recent rise in arrests and harassment of subway performers, “Busking at 30” aims to highlight the importance of this underground culture and what it brings to the diverse and vibrant culture of New York City. We thank you for your support in making the festival possible, and we look forward to seeing you there!