Ten days out from Narooma’s first Regional Busking Festival and Competition on Saturday 27 May and busker entries are rolling in from across the region, from Wollongong and the southern Highlands, to Canberra and Ballarat.
‘Narooma will be buzzing and filled with happy musicians playing all kinds of wonderful music throughout town,’ said Festival co-ordinator Sandra Doyle. ‘Narooma has never seen anything quite like this.’
The Festival is hosted by Narooma Rotary Club, partnered with the River of Art, and is part of the Australian National Busking Championships (ANBC).
‘By Monday we had entries from 42 buskers, ranging from a local drumming group of 30 school students to an 88-year-old saxophonist,’ she said.
‘Each act will play through the day at four of 29 busker hot spots around town that are sponsored by the adjacent businesses, with music ranging from country, blues, jazz and rock, to classical, to Scottish bagpipes, to a circus show.’
A programme detailing the location of each hot spot with a timetable of each act (9am-3pm) will be available online and on the day from an information stall opposite the Ice Creamery on the Flat, the Visitors’ Centre and from the sashed roving Busker Vote sellers.
Profiles of some of the registered buskers are on the website and on Facebook.
‘Every spectator can vote for their favourite busker for the People’s Choice prize of $1,000 by buying a special busker vote from our sellers, each vote costs $1,’ said Festival committee member Lynda Ord.
‘We count up the votes for each busker at the end of the day to determine the winner. Of each $1 vote, the busker gets 10cents. If the purchaser writes their name on the back of each vote, they enter a lucky draw. Each busker keeps any coin they collect.’
Judges will be roaming around listening to all competitors throughout the day, with the overall winner’s prize also $1,000.
‘We’re absolutely thrilled at how this festival has been embraced by the whole community,’ Mrs Ord said.
‘We’ve also had a wonderful response from our other service clubs to help with the smooth running of the day – Lions, Quota, View, CWA and VRA, but we could still do with a few more.’ (Contact Mrs Doyle on 0408 298 233 or Sandra@spinninggums.com.au.)
The Festival begins with a free concert by the String Family Quartet on Friday night at Club Narooma at 8.30pm, and culminates with a free concert at Narooma Golf Club on Saturday with the String Family Quartet from 4pm, followed by a concert by finalists at 5pm and the presentation of prizes.
Winners from the Narooma Festival, as well as the three other regional events, will be invited to compete in the National Grand Final in Cooma in November.
Buskers, if you have not already registered and want to join in the fun and compete for some fantastic prizes, head to the website and email your forms pronto. Entries close this Saturday.
Above: The Narooma Rhythm Hunters.
Narooma Public School music teacher Juanita Lowe says her 30-strong Narooma Rhythm Hunters are tremendously excited about drumming at the Festival and have been practising their African rhythms and own compositions for weeks. Here are some of the group.