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WELCOME to BuskFest

2024 information to follow

Overall winner                Eva Kearney

Best Individual                Rosie McWilliams

Best Band                        The Dukes

Best Junior                      The Mullholland Sisters

Best Performance          Rock Soul Down

Spirit of Buskfest            Benedict Grapes

Overall Winner

Eva Kearney from Lurgan. Presented by Ralph McLean BBC Radio Ulster and Ross Parkhill from the Stendhal Festival. 

Buskfest Overall Winner Eva Kearney

Best Individual

Rosie McWilliams from Carryduff. Presented by the Lord Mayor Alderman Margaret Tinsley and Ralph McLean.

Buskfest Best Individual Rosie McWilliams

Best Band

The Dukes from Banbridge with Ralph McLean from BBC Ulster and Ross Parkhill from Stendhal Festival presenting.

Buskfest Best Band The Dukes

Best Junior

The Mullholland Sisters from Glengormley. Presented by Ralph Mclean BBC Radio Ulster, Charlotte Dryden from the Oh Yeah Music Centre Belfast and Vincent McCall from The Market Place Theatre Armagh.

Buskfest Best Junior The Mullholland Sisters

Best Performance 

Rock Soul Down from Newry presented by Ralph McLean, Kenny Qua and Anne Lyttle.

Buskfest Best Performance Rock Soul Down

Spirit of Buskfest

Benedict Grapes from Dungannon. Presented by Ralph McLean, Colin Hassard and Connell McBride.

Spirit of Buskfest - Benedict Grapes

BuskFest is an international busking festival which takes place in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland. The event comprises an outdoor daytime busking competition followed by a prize giving ceremony in Solitude Park.

Busking competition: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Every year the streets of Banbridge town centre are full to capacity with hundreds of musicians, singers, bands, solo artists and street performers from across the globe entertaining large family crowds in the hope of winning a prize from the £3000 cash pot. 


The categories are as follows:-

  • Overall winner
  • Best Individual – Adult
  • Best Junior
  • Best Band
  • Best Performance
  • Spirit of Buskfest

Ralph McLean

‘If you haven’t yet visited BuskFest you are guaranteed a fantastic family day out. Enjoy the great atmosphere of the live music, dynamic street theatre, comedy and entertainment. As a music lover, I am delighted to be associated with BuskFest again this year.’

Ralph McLean BBC Radio Ulster, Buskfest Judge and compere.


BuskFest showcases the wealth and diversity of musical talent and performing skills thriving from the local area and further afield.

We aim to make BuskFest the leading busking festival in Ireland through our professional approach to the organisation of the event and by proactively seeking innovative ways of developing the event.

We work in partnership with all sectors of our local community to ensure that the BuskFest event remains fully inclusive to all.

Congratulations to the winners of BuskFest 2022:

Overall winner                  Caityy

Best Individual                   Alice La

Best Band                            The Jack Devlin Band

Best Junior                          Ellie Reynolds

Best Performance            Kooskoos

Spirit of Buskfest              Strings & Sings

It couldn’t be easier to get to Banbridge, conveniently located just off the main A1 Belfast / Dublin route, 12 miles from Newry and 22 miles from Belfast. The town centre is easily accessible by car and public transport from Northern Ireland and the South of Ireland.

Buskfest 2023 will be held on Saturday 24th June in Banbridge town centre.

Registration will open on Monday 17th April 2023 at 9.30am using this link

The overall winner of this year’s BuskFest will get a slot at Stendhal Festival (6-8 July), Northern Ireland’s largest camping festival. More info here…

Stendhal Festival logo

Oh Yeah Music Centre can offer a performance slot at a Volume Control gig to the winners of the Best Junior category along with a music industry mentoring session from our ASK programme

Oh Yeah Logo

AmmA Creative Learning

AmmA is a Creative Learning Centre for the Education Authority, Northern Ireland. It is a centre where technology alongside traditional media can be used creatively by schools, organisations, the youth sector and the community.

AmmA is part-funded by Department for Communities, through NI Screen, and works in partnership with the Nerve Centre and Nerve Belfast.

As part of the Banbridge Buskfest we will be offering the winner of the Best Individual category a recording session in our professional Recording studio/Live Lab.

Amma Creative learning logo

Junior Competition
Entrants must be aged between 10-16

Open Competition
Entrants must be aged 17+

1. Buskfest 2023 will take place on Saturday 24th June
2. Any performer arriving later than 11.30am will not be judged as part of the competition but may be allocated a pitch to perform, if available.
3. Children must be accompanied by an adult at the time of registration and throughout the event.
4. Competitors may enter the Junior competition only if the oldest performer in their group is 16 years of age or younger.
5. No act can be entered in both the Junior and Open competitions.
6. No act can enter either competition more than once. For example a competitor may not enter the competition as a soloist and then also enter the same competition as part of a group.

7.You are required to busk from 1pm – 4pm at your pitch
8. The content of your act must not be in breach of any law or copyright and should adhere to the rules of common decency.
9. Any act that the judges deem to be dangerous, offensive or otherwise inappropriate will be asked to stop and will be withdrawn from the competition.
10. No mains powered amplification is allowed. The judges may ask buskers using battery-powered amplification to turn down their volume.
11. No pre recorded backing tracks are permitted.

12. You may not be aware that you are being judged as this will be done anonymously at different times throughout the afternoon.
13. The judges decision is final. No discussion will be entered into.

14. All competitors must be at the Prize Giving Ceremony, Solitude Park Banbridge at 4.30pm to take part in the prize giving event.
15. The Winners may be invited to perform on stage so please ensure that you have your instrument(s) with you.
16. All Junior performers must be accompanied by an adult to allow the prize winning cheque to be issued.

Be part of BuskFest!

Buskfest 2023 will be held on Saturday 24th June.



-~- Prize Pot — £3000 -~-
£1000 Overall Winner open to all ages
£500 Best Band open to all ages
£500 Best Individual age 17+ only
£500 Best Junior age 10 – 16 only
£250 Best Performance open to all ages
£250 Spirit of BuskFest – Sponsored by The Boulevard open to all ages


-~- Busking Competition -~-
Registration and Pitch allocation: Registration Point, Old Town Hall, Scarva Street, Banbridge: 9.30am – 11.30am
Busking Competition Banbridge Town Centre: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Judging This will be done anonymously: 1.00pm – 4.00pm

There is a panel of judges who will individually judge buskers at their pitches.  We want to see you perform naturally and how you entertain the public so you may not know when you have been judged and it may be on more than one occasion throughout the afternoon.


Each judge will shortlist their favourite performers and the judging panel will re-visit each one to select the finalists.  At this stage you may or may not be told you are being judged.


Skill in your chosen instrument, voice or performance.

Do you enjoy performing? If so that will clearly come across.

Pick songs that you know, that suit your voice or style or that you simply enjoy.

Just be yourself !  – that is what works best, if you are puttting on an act, it will show…

Busking is not easy. It takes real guts, so don’t worry if you’re nervous or make a
mistake. Your performance is what makes BuskFest a success – never forget that!

To err is human so if you falter, forget the words or drop your juggling balls, just carry on.

Show off your personality and remember to just be yourself.

Be friendly, polite and show your sense of humour.

The following guidelines have been prepared to help you to have a safe and enjoyable day.

* Remain at your allocated pitch for the duration of the competition, unless instructed  otherwise by an event official.
* Use plastic or tin drink containers – Glass is Not Permitted.
* All rubbish should be disposed of safely in waste bins.
* Ensure that cases, instruments or other pieces of equipment do not become an obstruction or trip hazard.

* Only battery powered amplification is permitted. Respect your fellow performers by keeping the volume at a level which is safe and acceptable to event officials.

* Be aware that Banbridge Town Centre will remain open to traffic for the duration of the event.

* Dress appropriately and protect yourself against all kinds of weather which could be changeable throughout the day.
* First Aid Units will be located in the town centre.
* In an emergency contact the nearest steward. Alternatively make your way to the Control Point.

For publicity purposes, photographs will be taken throughout the day of the event.  All buskers will be required to sign a consent form when receiving their pitch allocation and under 18’s will require parent/guardian consent.

* Event Stewards will be on duty throughout Buskfest and will be wearing highly visible jackets.
* For Health and Safety reasons you must comply with the stewards instructions at all times
* Report anything suspicious or inappropriate to the nearest Event Steward.

Health and Safety is the responsibility of everyone, please ensure that your own actions promote a safe and enjoyable day for all those taking part.


Purpose and lawful basis for processing

Our purpose for processing your personal data is to enable you to register to participate in the Buskfest busking competition.

We are processing the personal information you provide under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR).  The lawful basis we are relying on to process your personal data is Article 6 (1) (a) of the UK GDPR, which allows us to process personal data you provide when registering to participate in Buskfest.

a) Consent: you have given clear consent for Council to process your personal data for a specific purpose.


What do we need?

We only collect and use the minimum amount of personal information required.  The information that we will collect about you at registration is:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Postcode
  • Mobile number
  • Email Address


What do we do with it?

We will process personal information provided to us through registration via Eventbrite.  Council will contact you using the details you provide in relation to the Buskfest competition and potentially, after the event for the purposes of inviting you to perform at other Council events or to be included in promotional material for future Buskfest activities.

Contact names, numbers and emails will be extracted and downloaded from the Eventbrite system and held securely on Council servers.  This information will be stored and accessed by Council’s Tourism Department, however, details may be passed to other departments within Council for the purposes of inviting you to perform at certain events.


How long do we keep it?

The registration process for Buskfest opens 2-3 months prior to and closes the day before the event is due to take place.  Your personal data will be stored on Eventbrite’s secure servers during this time and in line with their Privacy Policy.

You can find details of the EventBrite’s privacy policy via the link below:

Any information stored on Council servers will be held securely for seven years in line with Council’s Retention & Disposal Policy.


Do we use any data processors?

Council uses the services of EventBrite to provide a platform to collect and store registration information required for the Buskfest busking competition.

Council is the data controller, EventBrite is the data processor.  Your personal data will be stored on Eventbrite’s secure servers in line with their Privacy Policy which can be found via


Where is the information stored?  Do we transfer data overseas?

Council uses the services of EventBrite as a method to collect your personal data for you to register to take part in the Buskfest busking competition.  All data collected is stored and managed by EventBrite’s chosen infrastructure as a service provider.  You can find details of EventBrite’s privacy policy via the link below:

Contact names, numbers and emails will be extracted and downloaded from the Eventbrite system and held securely on Council servers.  This information will be stored and accessed by Council’s Tourism Department.


What are your rights?

If you have any questions regarding the processing of your data for this event, please contact us via:

For more information on your rights, please refer to the Information Commissioner’s Office website please see ‘Your data protection rights’.

If you are unhappy with the way in which we have processed your personal data, then you have the right to complain to the ICO as the UK supervisory authority.

If you wish to contact the BuskFest team please email and a member of the team will get back to you.