WELCOME to BuskFest

BuskFest is an international busking festival which takes place in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland. The event, which is now in its 15th year, attracts 6000+ people from across the globe to Banbridge Town Centre.  This year’s BuskFest will take place on Saturday 23 June 2018.

The Competition, which has a prize pot of £3000, runs from 1pm – 4.30pm and will culminate in an awards ceremony hosted by BBC Radio Ulster’s Ralph McLean in Solitude Park from 4.30pm – 6pm.

The competition offers a number of categories, including overall winner, best individual, best band, best junior, best performance and the ‘Spirit of BuskFest’ prize, sponsored by The Boulevard, Banbridge.

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Register For Buskfest
2017 BuskFest Winners
Getting Here
Contact Buskfest

2017 BuskFest winners were:

Overall Winner – Weston Clendinning

Best Band – Sins of a Cynic

Best Individual – Christopher McKevitt

Best Junior – Charlie Magill & Aodhan Moran

Best Performance –  Sam Leeson (Sponsored by Banbridge Chamber of Commerce)

Spirit of BuskFest – Hugo Boitel-Gill (Sponsored by The Outlet)

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. This flagship event is now entering its 14th year and attracts 6000+ people to Banbridge town centre.

Busking Competition: 1:00pm – 4:30pm
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 2017:

  • Overall – Weston Clendinning
  • Best Individual – Christopher McKevitt
  • Best Junior – Charlie Magill & Aodhan Moran
  • Best Band – Sins of a Cynic
  • Best Performance – Sam Leeson (sponsored by Banbridge Chamber of Commerce)
  • Spirit of BuskFest – Hugo Boitel-Gill (sponsored by THE OUTLET)

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.

Banbridge’s annual busking festival will be held on Saturday 23rd June.

Please note that all online registrants will still need to go to the Registration Point, Old Town Hall, Scarva Street, Banbridge, between 9.30am – 11.30am, on the day of the event in order to be allocated their pitch.


Junior Competition
Entrants must be aged between 10-16

Open Competition
Entrants must be aged 17+

1. All performers must register at Banbridge Old Town Hall, Scarva Street, Banbridge between 9:30am – 11.30am on Saturday 23 June 2018.
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 1.00pm until 4.30pm 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!


This year’s festival will take place on Saturday 23 June 2018 in Banbridge town centre.


-~- 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 – 4.30pm
Judging This will be done anonymously: 1.00pm – 4.30pm

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.

If you wish to contact the BuskFest 2018 team please email and a member of the team will get back to you.