Wexford brings beat to the street with first busking competition

By AMY LEWIS

Published 11/08/2015 | 00:00

The Bloco Garman Samba Drum Band.
The Bloco Garman Samba Drum Band.
Megan Kate Doolan

Local musicians will bring their songs to the streets this August as the first Wexford Street Performer and Buskers Competition comes to town.

Each Friday until August 21, the best of county's emerging talent will provide free performances in Wexford town as part of a new Visit Wexford initiative.

The aim of the event, which is supported by Wexford Arts Centre, is to attract visitors to the town.

'The idea is to provide people with free entertainment outside of business hours, when the streets of Wexford are quiet,' explained Elizabeth Whyte, from the Wexford Arts Centre Tourism Committee.

Although the competition was open to acts of all genres, the chosen performers are all local musicians and song writers, ranging from harp player Shelly O'Grady to the Bloco Garman Samba Drum Band.

'It is a sign of the wonderful musical talent in Wexford,' explained Elizabeth. 'There will be a great eclectic mix of performances over the coming weeks, with some musicians as young as 12.'

The initiative was also established to help fresh local talent to get noticed. Each act will compete in a finale performance, judged by Jackie Hayden, author and former General Manager of Hot Press magazine.

'Jackie will be looking for an act that combines talent with audience engagement,' said Elizabeth. 'It is a great opportunity for new acts. Jackie is an acclaimed figure in the music industry so who knows where this competition could take them.'

The winning act, as chosen through a combination of public votes with Jackie's decision, will receive €500. Organisers are encouraging visitors to come to the event and have their say.

Each performance will take place from 6pm until 8pm in the Bull Ring, Selskar Square and South Main Street. Nearby venues will provide refuge in case of bad weather. For more, see www.visitwexford.ie

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