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‘Great Belfast Busk Off’ to celebrate emerging talent

Date: 31 Jul 2018

Belfast’s First Citizen is calling on budding musicians of all ages to take part in a unique competition in the heart of the city centre this summer.

Belfast’s First Citizen is calling on budding musicians of all ages to take part in a unique competition in the heart of the city centre this summer.

Prizes include recording time in Half Bap studios and 100 CDs and vouchers for Dawson's Music.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey is encouraging as many musicians as possible to sign up and showcase their talents in ‘The Great Belfast Busk Off’ (GBBO).

The GBBO competition is set to take place on Saturday 18 August, when musicians and bands from all disciplines will descend on Belfast’s Cornmarket to perform in front of industry VIPs for the chance to win some fantastic prizes.

A celebration of Belfast’s thriving and diverse music scene, the GBBO competition is part of the council’s jam packed Belfast Music ‘Summer Season’ programme.

Councillor Deirdre Hargey is looking forward to an exciting day of competition:“The Great Belfast Busk Off’ will shine a light on the best emerging local talent our city has to offer. We’re giving musicians a unique opportunity to showcase their talents in front of respected representatives from the music industry, potentially catapulting them to bigger and better things.

“I’d encourage as many budding musicians to come forward and grab this fantastic opportunity with both hands.”

The GBBO event is being held in partnership with Belfast One, Destination CQ BID and Help Musicians NI.
Gareth Neill, Manager of Destination CQ BID hopes musicians will jump at the opportunity. He said:
“Belfast has an incredible wealth of musical talent and Destination CQ BID is excited to help support this fantastic initiative across the city centre. Busking helps emerging artists hone their talent, perform in unique spaces and put themselves on a public platform. We’re incredibly grateful for the prize pool on offer for this inaugural competition, with some great opportunities to work with music professionals.”

Clare Maguire, Managing Director of Belfast One is looking forward to seeing local talent in action:
“We’re delighted to be supporting the ‘Great Belfast Busk Off’ event. I’ve no doubt there’ll be a wide variety of talented musicians taking part, and I look forward to hearing them all on Saturday 18 August!”

Help Musicians NI is a support network for up and coming artists looking for their big break. ‘The Great Belfast Busk Off’ links in perfectly with their aims and ambitions. Their Development Manager, Keith Millar explains:
“We aim to bring together artists, music industry bodies and the wider community, setting out to address the ever-changing needs of the industry within the region, and to support local emerging talent. It is our great pleasure to work alongside BCC and the Great Belfast Busk Off to do just that.”

Post competition celebrations are being hosted by Help Musicians NI, in a secret location to be revealed on the evening of the competition.

The competition is open to all bands and musicians. To register, simply email before 6pm on Friday 10 August.

The full Belfast Music ‘Summer Season’ programme is available at and join in the conversation using #belfastmusic 

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