Sydney Harbor, Australia is home to at least five “Aboriginal People” who take up their spots every day and “play” a didgeridoo to dance music over loud speaker systems.
Needless to say, they are not actually original native Australians, nor do they actually play the didgeridoo. Yet in one of the Tourist Capitals of the world they are allowed to get away with it, most likely because of the picturesque setting, sunny perseverance and gullible tourists, and for this reason it doesn’t upset anyone.
Yet, Saturday afternoon on Cornmarket provides us with an equally shambolic set of street entertainment that people seem equally as inclined to go along with. Some earning in excess of £400 a day, there is everything from “that man with his cat”, to the tight-rope walking violinist who no one appears to notice is not actually connected in any way to the speaker where the violin music comes from.
With “bagpipe-gate” now a distant memory, have we been too quick to dismiss a man with at least a pretence for entertainment in favor of those X-Factor hopefuls that now don his old spot?
Is it really indicative of British Tourism that people give money out of pity before actual appreciation of what used to be a talent-filled art form?
Cornmarket may not have the appeal of Sydney Harbor, nor the sunny weather, but it does have its share of gullible tourists and for this reason the slightly twitchy statue man, the fire juggling duo and the one man band will likely be part of our Saturday entertainment in Oxford for many a year to come.
With the heights of singing dogs and Walkman drummers, Simon Cowell may not need to search all of Britain after all.