Banbridge singer-songwriter and star of BBC’s The Voice, Daniel Duke, will perform at this year’s BuskFest on Saturday 27 June.
The 24 year old, who made it to the knock-out round with Tom Jones’ team in the hit BBC One talent show, will perform at the awards ceremony in Solitude Park from 4.30pm in advance of the announcement for the winning acts.
The winning act from each category will then take to the BuskFest stage to entertain the eager crowds.
Prior to hitting the spotlight with The Voice, Daniel had participated in BuskFest on many occasions, first taking part in 2004 and later winning the Best Band category with his band The Reels in 2008.
He said: “Taking part in BuskFest was a huge part of my development as a musician and a performer. It helped me build the experience and confidence I needed to pursue a career in music and to become the artist I am today.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to hone my skills and get a taste for busking, something I still do to this day.”
“It’s a real honour to have been invited back to play the main stage at BuskFest and feels like I’ve come full circle.
“It’s a privilege to be involved in an event that’s done so much for my hometown.
“Not to mention, I can’t wait to see and hear all the brilliant buskers on the day.”
So what advice has Daniel for this year’s buskers hoping to win a share of the £3,000 prize pot?
Here are his Top 5 Tips for BuskFest:
1. Learn some covers – Writing your own songs is important but you can really grab the punters’ attention with a good cover song. Check the top 40 chart the week before and learn a few of those.
2. Learn to project – The most important part of busking is being heard. Make sure you aren’t lost in the crowd.
3. Engage with your audience – Make sure you talk as much as you sing. People love to hear a bit of banter.
4. Bring a foldup chair – It’s a long day so it’s always good to have somewhere to sit when you take a break.
5. Bring a coat – hopefully it’ll be sunny on the day but in Banbridge there’s always a chance of rain. Be prepared.
It’s not too late to get on board for BuskFest, further details about the festival, rules of the competition and how to register are all available on the website at www.buskfest.com and on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/buskfest.