Busking: Twirling fire on a rope stretched across an intersection for tips

By David Hammond 
Twirling fire at an intersection in Medellín, Colombia | Image by David Hammond
If you're a street performer, a red light at an intersection can create a captive audience.

However, performing for stopped drivers at an intersection is different than entertaining pedestrians on a sidewalk.

For one thing, your performance needs to be visual. Between street noise, rolled up windows, and car radios, your audience won't be able to appreciate it if you sing or play an instrument.

For another thing, Your performance needs to grab attention quickly. A red light may only last a minute.

In Uruguay, the performers I see most often at intersections are jugglers.

Once, at a red light in Santiago, Chile, I saw an impressive performance by a two-person acrobat team.

But the street intersection performance I’ll never forget was in Medellin, Colombia. And it went like this:

When the light turned red, a woman and her assistant suspended a rope across an intersection.

Then, the woman climbed onto the rope and balanced herself–taking steps forward and backward--while twirling flaming batons!


  1. There is a guy on Av. Giannatassio that juggles while riding a unicycle. I have given coins to him on occasion. It is impressive. The fire-twirler on a tightrope sounds better.

  2. Juggling on a unicycle--that is impressive.