Streets come alive as sun shines on town festival

Scarva Road Banbridge � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1425-266EB
Scarva Road Banbridge � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1425-266EB

The streets of Banbridge were buzzing on Saturday June 21 when the town celebrated its 11th annual busking festival, with over 80 buskers taking part in this year’s competition.

The gorgeous weather helped bring the vast crowds to enjoy the colourful array of busker performers with traditional bands, singer songwriters, acoustic and electric guitarists, flautists, tubas and trombones players all featuring in a superb afternoon.

Onlookers were entertained by acts from all over Ireland, North and South, and were not disappointed with the range of talent on show.

Following the busking competition the awaiting crowd were treated to a spectacle of music by Allison McGrath and Soulantics in Solitude Park before the all-important winners were announced. BBC Radio Ulster’s Ralph McLean and the judging panel had some difficult decisions to make when deciding on the final winners.

The BuskFest 2014 prize winners were Best Overall – Matthew Malcolm, Best Individual - Jane Willow, Best Band – The Left Backs, Best Junior – Hugo Boitel-Gill, Best Performance - Yegor Isain and Spirit of BuskFest, sponsored by The Outlet – Que-Pasa?

Joining in the fun at the international busking festival was Upper Bann MLA Jo-Anne Dobson.

“Banbridge was once again invaded by a wealth of musical talent for the annual Buskfest. It was a super day out for the whole community as well as providing a platform for up and coming local musical talent” she said.

“Every year this event gets better and better. It puts Banbridge on the map as well as providing a wonderful and diverse showcase for the musical talent which we have to offer with competitors coming from all across Northern Ireland.

“Chatting to some of our local traders I know that they value Buskfest as it brings additional and very welcome trade to our town centre shops.

“A special thanks should be given to all the competitors, the organisers, Banbridge town centre manager, as well as the Council staff who have done a superb job in facilitating this event which enables us to showcase Banbridge town centre.”