Buskaction website was set up in 1997 by Bongo Mike and Extremely Frank Jeremy, at the invitation of James Stevens of the Backspace Internet Gallery.
Buskaction was originally a vehicle to promote the protest song “Don’t Know Why” and its accompanying video – a protest against the criminalization of buskers on the London tube.
The site was also meant as a focal point on the web for the ongoing campaign for better treatment of those who performed art in all public places – while concentrating on the struggle with the Tube authorities in particular.
At that time Mike and Jeremy were campaigning in association with the London Public Entertainers Collective (LPEC), some of whose members appeared in the “Don’t Know Why” video.
The year 2003 saw some controversial developments, with the introduction on the tube of a restrictive licensing scheme for some buskers who accepted the terms of the licence – but an enforced cessation of activities for others who didn’t.
LPEC disbanded, owing to divisions within its ranks, and Bongo Mike and Extremely Frank Jeremy went into opposition, since their particular form of tube busking – performing music on moving vehicles – was clearly excluded from the new regime, and in the circumstances they felt unable to further represent the interests of those who wanted to sign up for it.
Buskaction was refurbished in 2006, and now focuses on the proposition that buskers will only receive proper respect, and proper treatment from the authorities, when the art of busking – or situation art, as we have called it – achieves its proper place within the broader cultural spectrum.