Busking All Stations

THE STORY: The rules were simple,

  • Successfully busk at 100 Train stations by getting at least two donations (of 5 cents or more) at each location.
  • No busking method could be used for more than 10 stations, which meant that if any of us did actually have talent we couldn’t just do that one thing the whole time.
  • Successfully busking from a police officer was worth 10 Stations.

Two teams, One Hundred Stations, Zero talent!

Invited by my friend Matt Hill to join Team Melbourne we would be racing against Dan Rule and Liz Hand from Sydney. And so it began; four virgin buskers started inventing ways to extract money from complete strangers. What we lacked in talent we made up for in creativity, coming up with all sorts of busking ideas.

Like a “Coin Activated Newspaper reading service”, where you could have the TV guide or today’s Sudoku read out to you… “Two, Blank, Six, Four, Blank, Blank…”

”Genuine Rock, Paper, Scissors”, where fellow passengers would hold a rock, scissors and a piece of paper behind their back and on the count of three reveal their weapon.

Making Balloon Animals while waiting on the platform. Be creative guys it’s clearly a giraffe!

Some did turn out better than others although, this was after the first attempt popped and she demanded a new one.

We Custom designed passengers names as Ambigram’s.

Dressed as “Nerds” and challenged strangers to games of  ‘Naughts & Crosses’ or ‘Hangman’.

We were never beaten. Not even by the police!

When there was nobody on our platform or our busking wasn’t working so well, we used reverse psychology to dare passengers on the other side to throw coins over the tracks. “I bet you couldn’t land a coin in this Frisbee from over there”.

This worked so well that we even managed to convince one guy to throw his coins to us as his train pulled up to the station. He almost backed out as the train arrived at his platform but then we spotted each other. While I could no longer shout to him my eyes told him, “Do it”. With that, a handful of coins came sailing over, some safely into the Frisbee, others landing on the platform and still others lost forever on the tracks below.

We even tried our hand at “Genuine Busking” (i.e. Not begging passengers for money or explaining our cause) and though it took far longer than we had hoped Matt was able to get our first genuine donation.

The only other attempt at “Genuine Busking” drew blood as we tried to copy some people who actually knew what they were doing!

Otherwise, we dressed as clowns, raced passengers running, saying the Alphabet backwards or drinking bottles of water with no hands.

At one point we overestimated our ability and attempted to sing a song for a phone app to identify! After seven failed attempts we decided to try a nursery rhyme. Finally, the phone took pity on us and recognized our song!

Despite taking a month to complete, making fools of ourselves and losing to the team from Sydney by three stations, this was such a rewarding challenge. We got to meet some really friendly and interesting people, bring a smile to those around us, have some fun with complete strangers, try something new and raise money for a good cause.

THE EVENT: Work with a mate to successfully busk at 100 Railway Stations


  • To buy as many goats as possible through World Vision
  • To meet new people, try new things and learn new skills
  • To bring smiles to those around us
  • To stretch and challenge yourself
  • Just Cause’



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