BuskFest once again takes to the streets of Banbridge town centre on Saturday August 12 for a day of music, entertainment and fun.
The busking festival is firmly established as one of Northern Ireland’s leading platforms for showcasing local, national and international musical talent and helping to launch performers into the public spotlight.
Since being crowned last year’s overall winner at BuskFest singer songwriter Matty Rea has gone from strength to strength with his musical career. “I was living in Queenstown New Zealand whilst travelling for a few years, and after a successful previous year in Australia I found it quite difficult to land any work in Queenstown,” explained Matty. “A friend in my hostel had a guitar and after a call from home saying I had to either start making cash fast or move on to somewhere a little less expensive, I asked could I borrow it for an hour to try and make some money busking. I had never busked in my life so I wasn’t overly sure how to approach it, and my knowledge on guitar was minimal, I must have played the same three songs over and over for an hour...but the result was amazing, I had made well over $100 and started to have my name passed through local bars and clubs.
“My biggest influence is John Mayer. I have listened to his music since I was in high school, well before I even dared to play guitar or sing. I have smaller influences like Alexi Murdoch, Newton Faulkner, Clean Bandit and Imagine Dragons.
“Writing your own material is where you learn about yourself as a songwriter. It is the most challenging part as it may take you an hour to write a song, but the next time it’ll take you a month before words start flowing. Due to my influences, many of my first songs ever wrote were based on Newton Faulkners first album, Hand Built by Robots, which has a lot of fun upbeat songs and at that time that was the road I wanted to go down. I then wanted to focus on more serious ‘songwriter’ songs and I’ve recently just released my second EP ‘Paperclip’ which you’ll find is more chilled and thoughtful.
“Winning BuskFest resulted in loads of opportunities for me in the Banbridge, Lurgan and Armagh area. The prize money has helped me record and buy instruments to further my sound and career.”
For further information go to www.buskfest.com. Online registration will remain open until 2pm on Friday August 11. Registration in person will also take place on Saturday August 12 from 9.30am – 11.30am in the Old Town Hall.