Music was centre-stage in Dungannon on Saturday (5 August) with the return of the annual Battle of the Buskers competition in the town centre, followed by a night of blues on Hill of The O’Neill.
A talented group of 15 buskers made the streets their stage, with a mixture of styles of music from classical to rock, during the town’s third busking event, which was organised by Mid Ulster District Council and each act performed on stage in Market Square during the day where there was children’s entertainment alongside the music.
Judges on the day were Andrew Boyd, music teacher at Royal School Dungannon, local musician and music teacher at Holy Trinity, Plunkett McGartland, and Paul Hughes from Stewarts music shop, Dungannon.
Five-piece band, Anna’s Number took the top prize of £1000 and the ‘Best Busker’ title, with singers Orlaith and Mollie named as runner-up. Hugo Boitel-Gill took the title of Best Young Performer and Namwila Mulwanda from London was awarded the ‘Spirit of Battle of the Buskers’.
The music then moved to the Hill of The O’Neill for the Blues on the Hill concert headlined by Band of Friends, who once shared the stage with the late, great Rory Gallagher.
The fantastic evening of music also included performances from Dublin Gospel Choir, Ireland’s Premier Expression of Gospel Music, Blue’s Queen Grainne Duffy, four piece blues ensemble Kick the Bucket, world stage 5 piece Rusty Jacks and the 2017 busking champions, Anna’s Number, also performed.
Speaking about the day, Chair of the Council, Councillor Kim Ashton said:
“The breadth of music and talent on show during the afternoon from all the buskers was brilliant and while we had to have winners, they all deserve congratulations for being brave enough to bring their music out onto the street.
“It was a real pleasure then also to be able to hear some of the best blues you’ll get anywhere up on the Hill of the O’Neill and there was a great atmosphere as well as some great music”.
Visit Dungannon Life and Hill of the O’Neill Facebook pages for pictures and video of both music events.