MUSICIANS and retailers have given the initial thumbs up for new busking rules introduced for the 2013 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
From this week, those buskers wishing to enter the Australian Country Music Busking Championships (ACMBC) will need to register via the new website and upload a YouTube clip and short biography.
On show to the public before they even hit the streets, those ranked in the top 10 or deemed to be the pick of the crop by judges will be invited to take a spot in Peel St.
Those who don’t make the cut will have to peddle their talent on one of the other two busking zones in Bicentennial Park and Kable Avenue.
While some regular buskers with arrangements with Peel St retailers would be be able to get around the changes termed as “invited guests” others would be forced to compete for spots.
Tamworth retailer Darrel Callinan of Lowes Menswear has a long-term arrangement with singer Don Costa who performs in front of his store during festival time.
Mr Callinan said in his 30 years at Lowes, he’d had some very good and very bad buskers in front of his store and had organised Costa as a way of keeping some control.
ACMBC busking coordinator Deniese Morrison said Mr Callinan’s arrangement was fine as Costa was one of the invited guests.
Bush balladeer Tom Maxwell who has retained his permanent spot in front of Blooms the Chemist for years will also not be subjected to the judging process.
“I’m working around all the retailers now to ensure everyone is aware of the changes,” she said.
Ms Morrison said nobody who wanted to busk on the streets of Tamworth would be left in the cold.
“We’ll still find a spot for anyone that turns up,” she said.
Ms Morrison said there had been a vast cross-section of clips from buskers already live on the website, ranging from professionally shot videos to just a singer with a guitar on the lounge at home.
The judging panel that would eventually decide the video winners of the Peel St gigs will consist of a mix of celebrities and industry experts, Ms Morrison said and would be announced in coming weeks.
Young South Australian busker Taylor Pfeiffer said she’s already uploaded her clip on the website and was happy to let the public decide who should get the top spots.
“This year I found it really hard to get a spot so I ended up busking in the middle of the street,” 13-year-old Taylor said.
Ms Morrison said volume levels next year would be strictly monitored around the 80 decibel level, but buskers may also be asked to turn down their music to avoid conflict between buskers.