Street Performers: Tip or Not to Tip?

While in Paris not too long ago, I was transmitting between two metro lines and happen to walk past a group of street musicians performing. Intrigued by their talent, I stopped to listen to for a few minutes. After all, I wasn’t in a hurry to go anywhere, I wanted to watch the men as they strummed their instruments and sung along.

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After listening for a few minutes, and taking a short video, I continued walking to catch my connecting train. After getting on that train, I regretted not giving the group a Euro or two, as I think they were really talented, and I had, after all, stopped to listen to their free music for more than a few seconds. You can see that several people stop along the way to drop in a coin or two, but not me…

This begs the question of whether most travelers tip street performers, or whether this is sort of blasé thing. While admittedly, I don’t tip these groups often, I’ve seen a number of fantastic talented people, both in Paris, and also recently in Nice, that I later regretted not giving them something in return for.

Next time I’ll be sure to think twice before I continue on walking…

Do you tip street performers or musicians while traveling?

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  1. Rich says

    I rarely tip street musicians, but I do when I feel I’ve gotten significant entertainment from them. And personally, if I photographed or videoed them I would certainly tip at least a euro.

  2. BOShappyflyer says

    If they are very entertaining or inspiring to listen to, I may. They are after all just trying to make a living too.

    If I take a photograph or video of them, then yes, I’d definitely tip (have done so in Scotland precisely for that).

    In new york, some of the ‘characters’ on the streets who readily pose pictures with you gets very aggressive if you don’t think them. It didn’t happen to me, but I have certainly seen it happen to other people and I didn’t think that was cool/nice at all.

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