All Tickets selling fast!

Byron Bay Bluesfest

Busking Competition

The Bluesfest Busking Competition, since 2004!!


About the Busking Comp

The Bluesfest Busking Comp is the perfect platform for unsigned artists to showcase their talents to a previously untapped national audience. The Comp is held in and around Byron Bay in the weeks leading up to Bluesfest instigating the Bluesfest buzz with live performances from musicians travelling from around the country for the chance to take out the prize.

"We can’t thank Anita, Melissa, The Judges & team enough for this amazing opportunity. Since playing the comp it has seriously opened some doors for us. We are getting non-stop show offers, interest from agents and record labels. We’ve fallen in love with the town and people of Byron Bay, as mentioned earlier, we’ve made friends for life from this comp. We strongly recommend any up & coming artists to apply. No matter what the outcome, you’ll have the time of your life. Thanks again Bluesfest & Bluesfest Busking Comp! See you on 2017". Steve, Kane and Benny (2016 winner, IVY)

This exclusive, sought after competition is designed specifically to give unsigned artists an opportunity, providing a key stepping stone for their career development! There are countless prizes available including a stage position at Bluesfest for the open winner. The Busking vibes and opportunities continue with the funky Bluesfest Busking stage and roving buskers throughout the festival providing a wealth of talent. Further to festival performance opportunities, prizes include such prospects as recording time at Studio 301 in Byron for the winners plus much more.

"The finals felt more like a high class original music show case then a competition"!! Resident judge Greg McHugh
"Some of the hottest and up and coming stars of the Future started at the Busking Comp/local stage" Marshall Okell (Busking winner 2007)

How does the competition work?

The heats and semi-finals for the Busking Comp are held prior to the commencement of the Bluesfest at the Beach Hotel, Byron Bay for the Open event and, Three Blue Ducks, for the Grommets (under 18’s). The finalists are then showcased throughout the day on Good Friday at the Beach Hotel with performances on show for a chance to take the winning positions. All finalists and a handful of runners up will have the opportunity of playing at the Bluesfest on the Busking Stage at the festival and there are more opportunities available for roving buskers within the festival.
Over 18's - This event is in high demand!! If you want to be a part of the talent that is the Bluesfest Busking Comp and to be considered you are required to submit a recent (recorded within the past 12months) YouTube or similar video sharing file of a ‘Live Original Performance'. After the application closing date the footage you submitted is reviewed by an industry panel, 40 artists are selected to proceed into the semi-finals which are hosted at the Beach Hotel in Byron on the Monday and Tuesday prior to Bluesfest. Semi-finalits perform 3 songs in front of a live panel of industry representative judges and audience and from here the judges select 7 performers to progress to the Finals for the final showdown!

Grommets - The Grommet Comp is about giving young performers the opportunity to experience the music industry and more notably Bluesfest, first hand as they move forward with their musical studies, decisions or career direction.
Once applications are live, you simply need to submit your application through the online process and you will progress through to the heats of the Grommet Event. The heats are held over 2 days the weekend before Bluesfest and judged by a panel of Music Industry Representatives. Three performers are selected to progress into the Finals of the Grommet Busking which is held at the Beach Hotel on Easter Friday.
This is the perfect platform to develop and grow your musical gifts with numerous opportunities and prizes available.
Full terms and conditions of application process are available when you sign-up!


Important Dates;

Applications open December 2016
Applications close 6th March 2016
Grommet Heats (Byron Youth Activity Centre) 8th/9th April, 2017 – Grommet applications have now closed and reached capacity
Over 18 Semi-finals (Beach Hotel) 11th/12th April, 2017
Busking Finals (Beach Hotel) 14th April, 2017

Each and every year the team that coordinate the Bluesfest Busking Comp continue to develop and expand the comp and align with various industry representatives and sponsors. This, put simply, means more prizes and more opportunities each and every year for you.

The Prize Pool for 2016 included:
• The Over 18 winner opened the Delta Stage at Bluesfest on Easter Monday, with a guaranteed returned performance time the following year.
• The Grommet winner headlined the Busking Stage on the Bluesfest Sunday, also with a guaranteed return           performance time in 2017.
• All runners up and a number of chosen Bluesfest Busking artists were rewarded with a Busking Stage performance at Bluesfest
• Over 18's- one day recording package with legendary, Mi-Sex keyboardist and well known independent producer, Murray Burns @ The Music Farm in Coorabell (over 18's)
• Grommet's- A one day recording package with Nick Didia, renowned independent Producer and resident judge... Nick has recorded the likes of Powderfinger, Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine and many, many more.
• Gift Vouchers and prizes from Byron Music
• Gift Vouchers from Grill’d
• The opportunity to play in selected Grill’d stores nationally
• In association with NCEIA and Buskers By The Creek we partner to offer opportunities for gigs with their festivals and events.
• Cash prizes from ACE to all runners up!!

Other General Prizes that were up for Grabs in 2016:
• A custom built guitar made with Australian recycled timber, designed and built by Paul Kneller from Hard Road Guitars in Maclean, judged by the man himself and awarded to the most notable guitarist on Finals Day
• The Filmery awarded on the day of the finals a Music Video Package including a professional Hair & Makeup artist, valued at $7500... Won by Grommet winner MAPLE.
• A one day in-house recording and live video recording session in Byron Music Studio, value $800
• All entrants received a 20% discount at Byron Music during the week of Bluesfest
• A number of acts were selected to play a 45min live set at the Bluesfest as part of our Roaming Busking initiative
• We collaborated with Three Blue Ducks, the Farm Byron Bay initiating a buskers stage for the first year giving selected buskers another opportunity to perform live with a 45min set in front of their patrons. All artists that played received a free meal and drink from Three Blue Ducks.

The Bluesfest Busking Comp is coordinated in its entirety by Anita Colenbrander Entertainment (ACE). For further information please contact:
Over 18 Event: Anita on 0418 322 019 or email
Grommet Event: Melissa on 0400 069 955 or email


2016 Open Competition Winner - IVY


2016 Grommet Competition Winner - Maple


The history of the Bluesfest Busking Competition

The Open Winners
The Grommet Winners