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Side show performers entertain guests at Summerfest

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Some Summerfest acts don't need a stage -- the street performers inside the grounds put performances amongst pedestrians.

"I'd describe it as sort of a side-show show," said Haley Johnson.

From card tricks and juggling, to bucket drums, street performers bring entertainment to the crowds.

Five years ago, Gypsy Geoff says he started performing at the Big Gig, without permission, until security cameras earned him an audition.

"They said 'well, we've been watching security videos, you've been drawing a pretty big crowd," said Gypsy Geoff.

Since then, he's been helping other's get their own gigs at Summerfest, primarily through the popular Dead Man's Carnival parade.

"We try to instill the spirit of, like, a second-line New Orleans-thing. We got our band playin' some hot jazz music. We`re encouraging everyone to join-in," explained Pinkerton Xyloma of the Dead Man's Carnival.

Some street performers can earn as much as $400 a day, depending on how long and how frequently they perform.

Gypsy Geoff added, "When you find out that some of the greatest performers used to actually perform here at Summerfest, and here you are now, performing at the world's largest music festival, you can`t really ask for anything else. It's the best thing in the world!"

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