New York Subway Performers

Michael Bublé

Yet another example of celebrities turning up everywhere in the city, singer/songwriter, actor and Academy Award-winner Michael Bublé surprised subway riders in early 2013 with an impromptu concert at Lincoln Square’s 66th Street station. Truly impressive, though we think a lot of these subway riders had no idea what was going on. Oh well, those who did were surely in for a treat. Check it out here! The Canadian singer performs A cappella with an entourage and then explains how singing on the New York subway is what he most wanted to do out of everything on his recent European/American travel itinerary. What can we say? It’s a great city! And he loves New York!

A History of Urban Performers

Of course, performing on the New York Subway, and elsewhere, is nothing new. In ancient Egypt and Greece, people did the same, and passed hats around for donations. In the Middle Ages, minstrels and jongleurs in Europe entertained the public, while in the new world Americans including Benjamin Franklin (when he was 12) sang on the streets. At the turn of the century, German marching bands and Italian organ grinders made street performing popular in New York, and during the Great Depression, banjo players performed on the subway.

New York  Subway Performers

So, whether it’s Michael Bublé  or someone lesser-known, keep in mind that this is a respected urban tradition – even though it has been banned in the past. Since the 1980s, however, subway performances have been legal. So if you experience one, try to enjoy it. If not, there’s not much else you can do other than wait it out!


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