A group of do-gooders has started surprising city subway performers with big tips and cheers, swarming their underground performance spots and filling their instrument cases with cash in a practice called “tip bombing.”
Twice this month, groups of people have come out to listen to artists and drop them extra tips in a Facebook-organized act of kindness. Organizers pick a busker to “bomb” and send out a message saying where and when they'll circle the artist and leave the tips.
The practice is similar to a nationwide trend, also called "tip bombing," where diners leave large tips for waitresses at inexpensive restaurants.
Robert Leslie was the first subway artist to get tip bombed. The group surprised him in a lower Manhattan subway station last week. He was tipped $319 in just a few minutes.
“Midway through, I was thinking ‘this is going really well,’” Leslie said in a YouTube video. “But then more and more people kept coming and I was like, ‘Wow, I should play here every day.’ I felt like Jay Z or something.”
On Wednesday, a group surprised an artist known as “Guitaro 5,000” in a subway station in Times Square.