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Seaport Village Busker Festival: 2009's winners

April 21, 2009 |  1:53 pm

Murrugun the Mystic 2 In Saturday's Calendar, we told you all about the art of busking -- that is, street performing -- and what was coming up at the third annual Seaport Village Busker Festival in San Diego over the weekend. As part of the festivities, a competition polled the crowd to select the top three buskers -- although, to be fair, many performers opted not compete but simply showed up to be part of the phenomenon.

First Place: Crew, a group that creates percussion with ordinary household objects. Prize: $2,000, and a trip to San Francisco.

Second Place: Murrugun the Mystic, a variety artist who swallows swords, eats fire and occasionally rests on a bed of nails. Prize: $750 and a hotel stay.

Third Place: Bobby Besmehn, who includes juggling, balance, and unicycle in his act. Prize: $250.

But frankly it's not the prizes, but the tips, that have we Culture Monsters considering a second career in busking: Seaport Village General Manager Terry Hall tells us that third-place winner Besmehn collected $2,000 from the crowd Saturday, and an additional $900 on Sunday. He must have passed a mighty big hat.

For more postmortem on the festival, visit this Seaport Village blog. Oops, must go -- time for our juggling lesson.

-- Diane Haithman

Photo: Murrugun the Mystic. Credit: Howard Lipin / San Diego Union-Tribune.