History of the Waterloo Busker Carnival: 2014 - Year 26

After an incredible 25th anniversary celebration in 2013 featuring former busker and Bare Naked Ladies Steven Page and a lineup of busker favourites from over the years, how do you keep the momentum going at the 26th annual carnival from August 21st to 24th in 2014?


The idea of bringing first time buskers to the carnival was top of the list. So the hunt was on and 9 First Timers were lined up to appear for the very first time in Waterloo. It wasnt easy. One group from overseas went off the radar after indicating they were interested while another act was waiting to see if their contract was going to be extended. It made for an interesting spring as the other buskers including three Fan Favourites were gradually announced heading towards the carnival. In the end, two different acts were signed on and ended up being crowd favourites! Youll find complete list of the 2014 busker lineup below.



How do you top the Steven Page concert to open the carnival? He absolutely packed Waterloo Public Square and even did an unplanned encore much to the delight of everyone in attendance. Perhaps, someone daring enough to hang upside down in a straight jacket would be an exciting way to open the 26th carnival. Rob Roy Collins, one of the carnivals top Fan Favourites said he would do just that but this time, he would escape while dangling high above Waterloo Public Square from a crane.

The planning for this stunt took months to plan and coordinate. Thanks to Rob Roy (from overseas in England), his rigging specialist Tyler Burke from Suspended Animation Circus in Toronto, Luca Torossi and crane operators from United Rentals, City of Waterloo staff, and Busker committee members, The Great Escape launched the 2014 carnival with a thrilling, up close and personal, stunt from high above the crowd. Our video from that day including a camera angle from up on top of the crane captures the buzz of the crowd that day as MCs George and Tara from radio media sponsor CHYM-FM helped out from down below.

Despite chances of rain, the carnival went on without a hitch and up to 80 thousand busker fans converged on UpTown Waterloo to enjoy 4 days of fabulous busker fun!