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May 15, 2017

A busker’s life: Subterranean Street Society


Street musicians prefer the warm sunlight over the bright spotlight. What motivates them to wander the globe? Louis was the frontman of a successful Danish rockband. He now plays any instrument that he can get his hands on. With his two fellow band members he busked his way through Europe for many summers, living from what they earned. Their next stop is Volkshotel’s street music festival Busker’s Inn. This is Louis’ story.

Why did you choose the wandering life of a street musician?
“At the time, I couldn’t see any better option. I was young and had a few odd jobs. But I was playing music all the time. Being a street musician fitted well with everything I believed in, because I didn’t want to be like everybody else. Working for way too many hours at an office. And still, I can’t see any better option from this point. This is the place where I can make the most difference.”

Being so free, what are the things you cherish most?
“What I cherish most is to being able to play whatever I want, whenever I want. When you stop, there’s no one that yells: “Hey, you haven’t done your 30 songs yet!”. It’s all up to me. I have the freedom to express whatever I want and that’s ultimate freedom. There are a lot of other things as well, but this is why I keep doing it.”

You must have had many adventures being on the road so much. Could you let us in on one?
“Wow, there are many, many adventures. It’s so hard to pick one! Because we were living from what we earned, we didn’t want to spend any money on sleeping. So we slept a lot on train stations and morning trains. One time in Italy, we didn’t have the right train ticket so we got kicked off the train and into some tiny place where all the low lives were. I remember sitting at that cramped place for 6 hours in the night. It was very interesting.”

Is there any message that you like to pass on through your music?
“Sometimes. Somehow it feels like a place where I can be political. Not that I sing political songs, but the message is: “Wake up!” We don’t have to walk around like zombies. We can live and feel. We can start the ‘engine of feeling’ together.”

What can people expect from your performance at Busker’s Inn?
“The same as on the streets. A big bag of raw energy. And as a listener, connecting to that energy. But hey, I don’t even know what’s going to happen! Because we don’t know where we’ll be playing, it’s going to be an adventure for sure.”


Louis Puggaard-Müller – Subterranean Street Society
More about the band

Busker’s Inn – Street music festival
Sunday 11 June 2017 // 15:00-22:30
Volkshotel // Wibautstraat 150 // Amsterdam
Attend on Facebook or visit festival website for full programme

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