Buskers will be performing at Link’s busiest downtown station under a pilot program in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Passengers traveling through Westlake light rail station will be able to enjoy performances by local musicians thanks to a new pilot program launched in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR). The program, which is scheduled to run through the end of the year, will enliven the system’s busiest downtown station and serve as a potential model for expanding busking opportunities to other stations in the light rail system.
“A safe and inviting public transit system is essential to Seattle’s future. This new busker program will create a more welcoming experience for the thousands of riders who pass through Westlake Station every weekday,” said Seattle Mayor and Sound Transit Board Member Bruce Harrell. “As we activate Seattle’s downtown with more events, activities, and opportunities, this program will be a source of joy for transit riders during our holiday season, and I’m grateful for the One Seattle collaboration between our Parks Department and Sound Transit to bring people together.”
“Making use of the space at the Westlake station to bring music to Link riders is a win for riders and a win for downtown Seattle,” said King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine. “This creative partnership between the City and Sound Transit will make downtown that much more cheerful just in time for the holiday season.”
Buskers will be performing at the mezzanine landing by the Pine and 6th Avenue entrance of the Westlake station Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A star has been placed on the wall to mark the performance location.
In addition, plans are in the works to have buskers perform at the station on Saturdays when the Seattle Kraken are playing at Climate Pledge Arena. The Westlake Station is a transfer point for riders taking transit to the Kraken game.
“Our public spaces are our community spaces, and this pilot gives our riders an opportunity to slow down and connect to each other and the local communities where we live, work, and play,” said Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm. “Our hope is that this pilot will be a springboard to a variety of locally sponsored, community-based programs to make our stations more welcoming and enjoyable for passengers and staff as we connect through our daily journeys.”
The buskers will come from a list of performers vetted by SPR and paid to perform in city parks.
Sound Transit has designated busking locations available at all 1 Line stations except SeaTac/Airport Station. Performers are welcome to busk on a first-come, first served basis except during the reserved hours at Westlake.
Performers have to follow Sound Transit’s busking guidelines. Groups can have no more than five members without prior approval and cannot use amplification.