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Street performers around the world flock to Christchurch for annual busking festival

Performers from 32 different nations are heading to Christchurch as the city's annual buskers festival opened last night.

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They’re hoping for a big turnout, with foot traffic in the central city now getting back to pre-quake levels. Source: 1 NEWS

They're hoping for a big turnout, with foot-traffic in the central city now getting back to pre-quake levels.

It's the usual grand affair, from comedians to theatre shows, like one circus and burlesque act.

"We've been collected from all over the world because we all have so many different talents," one performer told 1 NEWS.

It's the 25th anniversary of the festival, which has always attracted international acts.

But ever since the earthquakes destroyed the inner city in 2011, crowds have been hard to come by.

Those days may finally be over thanks to several major new venues.

"Foot-traffic into the city is up 180 per cent along the terrace against this time last year," Christchurch NZ CEO Joanna Norris told 1 NEWS.

They're now hoping to attract more than 200,000 people over the month-long run. 

Most performers aren't paid, with donations from the crowd their only income.

Despite having a young baby with him, performer Rogan Josh isn't too worried about expenses.

"I've got a six-month old, she's on tour with me, so if I don't make enough money I'm going to have to sell the baby for parts," he jokes.

It sounds easy enough: get on the street, show off some skills and hope strangers will pay for the show.

But the truth is, it's a lot harder than it looks.

These professional buskers will be hoping to ooh and aah their way to a big payday.