Buskers are street performers that perform in public places for money. Such pedestrians were only introduced late in the Grand Theft Auto series, with Grand Theft Auto IV being the only game to feature them to date.
Buskers debuted in Grand Theft Auto IV in the form of saxophone-playing street musicians commonly spotted in affluent portions of Liberty City in Broker, Dukes and Algonquin, mostly in various parks, subway stations and waterfronts, as well as stages of the Superstar Café.
Evidently having only a saxophone as a music instrument, the Busker will only play songs that may also be heard on the Jazz Nation Radio 108.5 radio station. In most of his appearances, the busker is depicted with a buttoned up brown trench coat, and his music can easily be heard within hearing distance, a hint he is near the player. Most buskers also wear occasionally a hat depicting he may be poorer then others by its wornness.
When standing close to a busker, the player has the option of giving him $10, restoring the player's health and receiving an expression of gratitude from the busker, in the form of a simple "thank you". However, should the player push the busker, he may stop playing, drop his music instrument and respond unfavorably to the player. Running past a busker in close proximity will also force him to drop his saxophone and walk away. Unlike many minor items dropped by pedestrians, the player cannot pick up a busker's dropped saxophone.
After giving the busker $10 multiple times, the player will eventually receive the instrumental ringtone "St. Thomas" for their cell phone. This is one of the songs the busker plays and is also featured on Jazz Nation Radio.
- Buskers were planned to make an appearance in GTA III but was dropped during development of the game. Remnants of their existence can be seen within the game files.
- The busker is voiced by Walter Houser, father of the Houser brothers. Walter Houser was "part-owner of London’s seminal jazz club Ronnie Scott’s, where the brothers were exposed to jazz stars throughout their youths."