Street Musicians In Santa Barbara Walk The Line Between Safety And Entertainment

Aug 11, 2020

As the coronavirus crisis continues, street musicians have become the soundtrack of the new State Street Promenade in Santa Barbara.

The transition hasn't been entirely smooth: at times, the buskers have had to turn down the volume, or unplug their amps entirely.

Jason Frost is a guitarist who plays near State Street and Haley. He's asked the nearby diners if everything sounds right, and says that often results in a thumbs-up and a good tip.

"It's really a godsend. I appreciate it so much," Frost says. "People have been very generous and on so many levels, it's just awesome."

David Vartabedian says that with large concerts banned, and nightclubs shuttered, playing on the street is sometimes a musician's only source of extra money.

"We're all just trying to work together," Vartabedian says. "Think about it, our world's just been turned upside-down."