"In 2015 a small film crew set out to make a documentary about busking on the streets of Leeds.
It quickly became the story of just one man..."
A word from Steven Lockmoore
My name is Steven Lockmoore. I’ve been busking on the streets of Leeds for about 10 years now. I’ve seen some crazy things in my time, real crazy. I’ve seen shoplifters chased out of department stores and wrestled to the ground by security guards; I’ve seen an old aged pensioner carrying a fridge up the Headrow on the back of a mobility scooter; one time I even saw a pigeon steal a steak bake straight out of someone’s hand while they were still eating it and fly off! But nothing more crazy than a chance encounter I had with a couple of guys I met on Briggate, which shifted the course of my life forever.
I can remember it vividly. I was on my spot, playing a song I’d just improvised called ‘Lizzies kissing lizards’ when two lads approached me. They asked if they could talk to me for a documentary they were making about buskers in Leeds. I only had one question: what’s taken you so long?
There began one of the craziest periods of my life. Over the course of several months of filming, they captured my life not just as a busker, but also as a son and a lover: the victories, the defeats, the swings, the roundabouts - the highs and lows of life in pursuit of my dreams. And looking back, now that the film is all done and dusted, it’s funny to think how far I’ve come. Y'know, metaphorically speaking – I still live in Leeds.
I can see why Pete and Mark chose me: I have stood my ground when my spot was in jeopardy; I fought down competitors in epic turf wars; and I celebrated amazing victories. So what have I learnt? Only this: If your heart is pure and you are true to what you do then you WILL succeed.
Well, you might succeed… it’s probably best to have a back up plan…
Busking Turf Wars gave me the chance to look at my life through a lens, quite literally, and everything has changed for the better ever since. So thank you, Peter and Mark, for walking up Briggate that day. Although truth be told, it was only a matter of time before somebody found me…
Steven Lockmoore, 2015
For Steven Lockmoore, busking is a way of life. He's worked hard for his place on the street and is passionate about the community he is a part of.
But his world starts to slowly unravel with the emergence of a rival busker, Paul Adrian, who invades Steven's turf.
Steven has to go on an exploration of what is important to him and what it means to be an artist following your dreams.
Busking Turf Wars is a wholly independent film that came about through friendship and a love of the craft.
Producer Mark Trifunovic, younger brother and first time director Peter Trifunovic, and best friend and co-writer Christy Coysh all set out on a journey together. They had a lot of passion and a will to make something credible, but didn’t have much beyond that at their disposal. With varying degrees of experience in the industry, they set out to make a film.
Made on a shoestring budget and entirely self financed by its creators, the team weren’t phased by a lack of money; with the belief in mind that fortune favours the brave, they started climbing what would inevitably become a very steep learning curve. Shot over the course of 15 days with a core crew of 6 people, Busking Turf Wars is the first feature film from collective Kids on the Run, with the mission statement to never make a movie without having fun.
The film showcases their home city of Leeds in a truly cinematic way, from a very unique perspective: that of a street musician.