Banbridge BuskFest celebrates 20 years showcasing local talent

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Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor Sorchá McGeown and Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster Presenter pictured with two young buskers.

Banbridge is gearing up for a musical extravaganza as the annual BuskFest returns to the town on Saturday 22nd June. The event, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, showcases the best of local talent in a competitive busking festival with the total prize pot of £3,000.

BuskFest attracts hundreds of visitors each year to Banbridge, creating a lively and festive atmosphere with bands and solo artists lining the street. The competition runs from 2pm – 5pm, a fantastic family day out listening to and meeting artists of all ages and genres. The busking is then followed by a prize giving ceremony at the stage located at the top of the town. The overall winner will have the opportunity to perform on stage followed by an exciting headline act who will close the evening.

Registration is now open for participants, online at buskfest.com. On the day of the event registered participants are asked to meet at Banbridge Old Town Hall between 10.30am – 12.30am to be allocated their busking location.

£1000 will be available for the Overall Winner and a further £2000 split between the Best Band, Individual and Junior Categories – including the Best Performance sponsored by Banbridge Chamber of Commerce and the Spirit of BuskFest sponsored by The Boulevard.

Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Councillor Sorchá McGeown expressed her enthusiasm for the event and encouraged aspiring performers to take part:

“BuskFest is a fantastic opportunity for local talent to showcase their skills and entertain the public in a vibrant and fun filled event. Banbridge has a rich musical history making it the perfect place to host such an event. I also, encourage members of the public to come along, listen to the music and enjoy the wide variety of shops and cafes Banbridge town has to offer. Thanks to the public realm scheme Banbridge has received major investment which has helped to improve the streetscape of the town, encouraging more footfall and supporting local businesses.” 

BBC Radio Ulster presenter, BuskFest judge and compere Ralph McLean is also returning for this year’s event.

“Music is a fantastic way for individuals to express themselves and connect with others. I am delighted to be judging this year’s BuskFest, each year I am amazed by the talent and diversity of the performers and this year will be no different.

“It is a joy to witness the creativity and passion of the artists who bring music and entertainment to the streets of Banbridge. As I judge I have the difficult task of choosing the best among the best, but I also have the privilege of being inspired by these amazing performances.” 

Ross Parkhill, Stendhal Festival Director is proud to be part of the musical celebrations:

“I am proud once again to be invited to join the judging panel at BuskFest. Each year I am blown away by the talent that lines the streets of Banbridge and I’m sure this year will be no different. The winner of this years BuskFest will be invited to play on stage at Stendhal Festival in July. An exciting opportunity for them as an artist to reach a new audience and experience performing in a festival setting. I encourage you all to join us in Banbridge for a fantastic celebration of musical talent supporting these upcoming artists!”

To register for BuskFest from 8th April visit www.buskfest.com and select “register.”

The event is organised by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Banbridge and supported by Banbridge Chamber of Commerce and The Boulevard.