Geelong’s Best Busker Competition

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Geelong’s Best Busker Competition

In a bid to find the best street performers of Geelong, the Best Busker Competition was created. Uniting all of those with a taste for the stage, Forté chat to the organiser Steve Thew.

Hey Steve, thanks for chatting with us today. How are you and what have you been up to?
Thanks so much for the opportunity. I have been really busy lately with the organising and getting applicants for the 2017 competition – let alone with my music. I have a new CD coming out next year, but for now, things will be quieter over the holiday season and ramping up in February 2017.

Geelong’s Best Busker Competition is back again next year. Tell us a bit about the whole thing, are there any changes to next year’s event?
It’s an event organised by myself and supported by The City Of Greater Geelong in the CBD of Geelong. It will be held over four days in the summer of February. It will be videoed, photographed and recorded live! Prizes will be a total value of $1300, and will be awarded for first, second and third prize winners. The prize pool also includes an opportunity for winner to be interviewed on radio, along with other cash prizes. The aim of the event is to promote busking and street entertainment in Geelong.

And how did you get involved in organising this event, do you have a history in busking yourself?
I have performed a lot of street music for Geelong in the past and wanted to push this sort of event in a place where entertainment and music can be seen as a place to go in the CBD like the Little Malop Street central area. So essentially, I approached the council and they agreed to support what I was doing.

Can any one get involved in the competition?
Yes! Any person of ANY age or type of performer from the Geelong, Lara, Bellarine, Surf Coast and Torquay area can enter. We want all types of performers: dancers, singers, unicyclists and spoon players. We just want to see people who give it a go – people that get a crowd clapping and entertained.

What are the benefits of buskers entering the competition, what happens at the end?
The performers gain public experience, confidence and exposure that they wouldn’t normally get. At the end, they receive a trophy, prizes and exposure on radio, television and newspapers.

What are your views on the busking scene in Geelong at the moment, what do you think the benefit is for the community?
There are approximately 50 buskers in and around Geelong of all sorts of ages and types of performing acts, from rock, jazz, angels, didgeridoo players, South American pipes, puppets, harps, poetry, blues – all for a small fee in the guitar case or hat. Communities, and especially children, benefit from the experience as they see all types of acts and entertainment – not just singers.

And the busking scene in general around the world, should that be every musicians starting point?
There are some extremely talented people who started out in their careers busking. For example Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Henderson, Split Enz and Keith Urban, to name a few.
I think the performer who can entertain a street crowd can entertain anywhere.

Thanks for chatting with us today! Is there anything else you would like to add, or any words of encouragement to potential buskers out there?
We already have about 15 applicants which is great for this time of year in December, but applications are still open! Just give it a go. Get out on the street with your props, put out the hat or guitar case and start playing or performing. You will be amazed at how the crowd will react. You may even make some money. And keep going – who knows where you will end up. Maybe on a huge stage such as Wembley – that’s where Ed Sheeran started and ended up.

For more info visit their Facebook page.

When & Were: The Little Malop Street Central Area, Geelong – February 7, 10, 14 and 18 (final) 2017