Australia's Biggest Busking Festival is back with a new name and a new home in 2021
  • Wednesday 03 March 2021

Australia’s leading busking festival has packed up its tip hat and relocated from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast for the inaugural Buskers by the Lake 2021 at Lake Kawana in October 2021.

Formerly Buskers by the Creek, the free, multi-award-winning festival has an international reputation as one of the world’s premier busking events since its debut in 2014.

The 2019 event attracted more than 700 applications and showcased 300-plus performers to a record crowd of 20,000 festival-goers who flocked to enjoy the festival’s unique showcase of music, comedy and dance talent, street theatre, magic acts, circus stunts and sideshow performances.

After six successful years on the Gold Coast, Co-Founder and Event Director Cindy Jensen said the move to a new, larger Sunshine Coast location would allow the grassroots festival to embrace its craziness, boldness and uniqueness to the fullest and facilitate future expansion on a global scale.

“We want to grow Buskers by the Lake into an international brand and the larger premises and facilities at Lake Kawana will allow us to realise our global vision,” Ms Jensen said.

“Buskers by the Lake remains a grassroots festival at heart – there’s no bright lights or stadium-sized stages, just the purpose and passion to provide the opportunity for anyone to perform, no matter their ability.

“Last year was devastating for many people, so we decided to revisit our ‘Loveland’ festival theme in 2021 to bring love and happiness back into the community and get everyone together again for an exciting program of top local and internationally renowned talent.”

Buskers by the Lake 2021 program highlights include Battle of the Buskers which kicks off the festival program on 29th October, a peer-assessed competition to find Australia’s best busking talent.   Previous Battle of the Buskers winners include Australia’s best-known busker Tones And I, who won the top gong in 2018, as well as 2016 winners, gypsy folk duo Salt and Steel, who have gone on to play music festivals such as Bluesfest and Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Freaks & Beats sideshow events and the signature floating half-pipe on the lake, showcasing an array of Australian professional BMX and skateboarders are also highlights of this year’s festival program.

The popular outdoors event promises to be even bigger and better in 2021 while working within COVID-safe guidelines as outlined by Queensland Health.

Buskers by the Lake is now open for online artist applications and Ms Jensen said the response has been overwhelming with interest from as far away as Western Australia.

“COVID restrictions mean many artists who would typically be touring around the world are at home in Australia, so we’ve been inundated with enquiries,” Ms Jensen said.

“Audiences can expect an outstanding mix of amazing performances at Buskers by the Lake as the quality of the talent this year will be truly mind-blowing. Remember to tip buskers generously and purchase some merchandise to support our world-class talent.”

Sunshine Coast Events Board Chair Maya Gurry said the Board was thrilled to welcome Buskers by the Lake 2021 and looked forward to the injection of fresh energy and cultural cred that the festival will bring to its annual event lineup.

“With an abundance of Sunshine Coast busking talent to showcase, Buskers by the Lake will bring new commercial opportunities and visitation for the region in a traditionally quiet tourism period,” Ms Gurry said.

“This is a great addition to the cultural calendar, thanks to Sunshine Coast Council support through the Major Events sponsorship program.”

Buskers by the Lake 2021 is on 30 – 31 October at Lake Kawana, presented by Hot91 and Supported by Sunshine Coast Council and Visit Sunshine Coast. For more information, visit

Image provided by Buskers by the Lake - LtoR Nathan Ellwood, Relish, Cindy Jensen, Joel Jensen
Image taken by Smak! Studio Photography


Established as Buskers by the Creek in 2014, Buskers by the Lake is Australia’s leading and largest busking festival and one of the world’s premier busking events. The multi-award-winning festival has achieved many accolades, including Live Music Event of the Year 2015 winner and a finalist in 2016 and 2017 at the Gold Coast Music Awards and named as Queensland’s Best New Event 2015 and Best Small Event State Finalist in 2018 and 2020 at the Australian Event Awards.