In the second week of April I went to Barcelona with my study association. Besides the fun I had this week, one thing caught my attention: The amount of musicians on the street.
The most prominent place I saw musicians is on the typical tourists places. This also shows the reason why these people play on the streets: money. They are playing the accordion, guitar or singing and hoping that money will come into the little cups they have standing in front of them.
When we were eating or having a drink on a terrace, it did not take a while for a musician to show up. After playing for a short term, they came begging for money. These kind of musicians were even offended when you did not gave them any money!
Moreover, there are also musicians in the subway. This was absurd to see. The little time there was in between stops, they played or sung a little piece. At a stop they collected money from the people. The walked a few meters further in the subway and start again with another song. This went on and on for a few stops.
However, our tour guide told us that playing music for money is forbidden in Barcelona. It is only allowed at an cathedral or in the subway, with a license. Clearly, all the musicians I saw in this week did not have a license or an allowed place where the playing. As soon police came around the corner they packed their bags and run away.
Besides this, I must say that these musicians gave a feeling of cohesion in Barcelona. Not only as a tourist, but also with the people of the street. So was there a man who was playing on an electric guitar and a soda/beer seller was telling him he was doing it wrong. He helped him with tapping the right beat for him. In subway stop there were a boy and a girl playing on a piano, not for money. They seemed to really enjoy it!