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Byron Bay Bluesfest

Busking Competition


The Bluesfest Busking Comp hits its 15th year in 2018

About the Busking Comp

The Bluesfest Busking Comp is the perfect platform for unsigned artists to showcase their talents to a previously untapped international 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.

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 Lacuva Recording and Rocking Horse Studio in Byron for the winners plus much more.

                'I finished high school in 2008 down in Merimbula and each weekend found myself, and my van where I lived, getting further and further from home. I wound up away for a good month and during that time played in the busking comp. I can honestly say the experience was the catalyst for everything that has followed. It gave me the opportunity to play Bluesfest and get to know the wonderful people that run it, who have over the years been beautifully supportive and pivotal in helping me take each new step of my career.  Bluesfest has been like a base for me and it's an enormous and very special part of not just my career but my life and journey. The busking comp started it all, and Anita and everyone that run it create magical moments for young artists like me every year. It's incredible!' Kim Churchill 

Kim Churchill is now an internationally renowned singer/songwriter, his household name in the music industry has radically escalated since his debut performance at Bluesfest in 2009 following his win of the Bluesfest Busking Competition... He has just released his 5th album 'Weight Falls', check out his latest film clip Kim Churchill 'Second Hand Car' (Official Video)

So How Does the Competition Work??

Over 18’s Event

This event is in high demand!! If you want to be a part of the talent that is the Bluesfest Busking Comp, you need to go through a preliminary round where you submit a ‘LIVE’ performance with your application (see terms and condition for further information) and this is judged by a panel where 40 applicants are selected to progress through to the Semi Finals held at the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay in the week of Bluesfest. From there, the live panel of industry representative judges will select 7 performers to progress to the Finals which is held at the Beach Hotel on Easter Friday for the final showdown!

If you are keen, continue working to advance your talents, refine your music and get ready to put your best self forward for 2018!


The Grommet Event (Under 18’s)

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 in their studies and decisions on their 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 abilities with numerous opportunities and prizes available.

Dates for 2018

Applications Open: December 2017 Keep an eye out on the Bluesfest Busking Comp facebook page for continual updates and information!

Open Semifinals in Byron Bay: 26th & 27th March 2018 (TBC)

Grommet Heats in Byron Bay: 24th & 25th March 2018 (TBC)

Finals Byron Bay: 30th March 2018

The Bluesfest Busking Comp is coordinated in its entirety by Anita Colenbrander Entertainment (ACE).  For further information please contact:

Open Event: Anita Colenbrander -

Grommet Event: Melissa Moss -

Tay Oskee, Winner Over 18 Bluesfest Busking Comp – Photo Renae Saxby

Molly Millington, Winner Under 18 Bluesfest Busking Comp – Photo Kalem Horn

The Winners

The Open Winners

The Grommet Winners

2017 Tay Oskee

2017 Molly Millington

2016 IVY

2016 MAPLE

2015 Grizzlee Train

2015 Hoo8Hoo

2014 Eddie Boyd & The Phatapillars

2014 Craig (3 Members)

2013 Claire Anne Taylor

2013 Nick & Sam

2012 Brother Fox

2012 Lifeline

2011 Minnie Marks


2010 Hussy Hicks


2009 Kim Churchill


2008 Matty Devitt Band


2007 Marshall and the Fro


2006 Fire Tree


2005 Engine Three Seven


2004 Adahmo