11th Jun 2019 in Arts

The Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) has joined the hunt for Belfast’s best busker!

‘The Great Belfast Busk Off’ takes place across the streets of the city on Saturday 6 July – if you are a performer/band/musical act and want a chance to take part and be in with a shot of winning some amazing prizes, you have until 6pm on Monday 1st July to register (deadline extended from previously advertised 26th June).

Open to performers aged 16 and over, the first prize is a money-can’t-buy session at Cathedral Quarter-based Start Together Studios, with production of 100 CDs. Headed up by well-known producer, mixer and music engineer Rocky O’Reilly, the studio has a stellar reputation in the industry, earned over 10+ years of producing music for a dizzying array of incredible acts and bands.

The second prize is a £100 Matchetts Music voucher and there is also a ‘people’s choice’ prize, voted for by the public.

Cathedral Quarter BID Managing Director, Gareth Neill welcomes this event back as part of the City of Music summer programme. “This is a great collaboration between businesses and the creative talent in our City and we’re delighted to build on last year’s success.”

Clare Maguire, Managing Director, Belfast One, said: “We are really excited to be bringing The Great Belfast Busk Off back onto the streets of Belfast. Last year’s competition was so uplifting for shoppers and diners who passed by the performers as they played and sang their hearts out in the hope of winning the coveted prizes. This year we’re hoping for sunshine and we are expecting an increased level of entry on the 25 fantastic acts who participated last year.”

Meghan Gilleece, Fundraising and Volunteer Officer for Help Musicians NI added, “As a charity committed to providing lifelong support to professional musicians of all genres, Help Musicians is proud to be involved with The Great Belfast Busk-Off again this year.”

Singer-songwriter Alice LA promotes the Belfast Busk Off competition

Each act gets a 45-minute slot in one of five chosen locations where judges will watch them perform three songs. They’ll be working just as hard to impress the public too, as there is a people’s choice-type award – the great Belfast public will vote for their favourite act by throwing voting coins into their buckets and the act with the highest donation will win a £200 Dawsons Music voucher.

Last year’s overall winners were Newry duo ‘Paul and the Meanie’ who used the prize of studio time and 100 CDs to create a set of demo tracks.

To register your participation for The Great Belfast Busk Off from 12 noon to 5pm on Saturday 6 July please visit: greatbelfastbuskoff2019.eventbrite.co.uk. There is a registration fee of £10 which is refundable on the day of the competition.

All participating bands will be invited to an exclusive gig hosted with Help Musicians NI in a secret location that evening to celebrate and crown the winner.

The Great Belfast Busk Off is an initiative partnered by Belfast One and Destination CQ Business Improvement Districts, Help Musicians NI and Belfast City Council.

Check out this great interview with NVTV:

Want to let us know about something exciting happening in the Cathedral Quarter, or tell us a CQ story you think we should write about? Email features@cathedralquarterbelfast.com or fill in our online events form

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