Support Your Local Young Musicians

Public voting begins in hunt for busker of the year

22 year old Miranda Gunn who performs under the name of 'Flauticious' & 23 year old Thom Byles from Wandsworth are competing with other Young London musicians and singers in a live 'Busk Off' on 30 July, as part of Wayne Hemingway's Vintage at Southbank Centre, in the final stage of the Mayor's Rhythm of London Busking Underground competition.


To help select the top talent, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson wants people to get online now ( and vote for their favourite young musician. The busker with the highest public vote will join ten others selected by a panel of judges to take part in the event, all of them hoping to be crowned the Rhythm of London Young Busker of the Year. It will also be a unique opportunity to play in front of the large crowds expected at Vintage at Southbank Centre, which is part of the celebrations marking 60 years since the Festival of Britain.

The Mayor, who recently launched a new fund to raise £2 million for music education, said: 'Rhythm of London is all about giving young Londoners a platform to play music and perform in public. Linking up with Vintage this year means our talented troubadours will have the opportunity to perform in front of a live crowd of thousands. But to help them do that we need you to get voting.'

Wayne Hemingway said:
'Busking is a true vintage art form. No matter what the genre of music being played, the sound is just about always old school raw and rootsy. That coupled with the often eclectic, individual and thankfully unmanufactured style of the performers makes the Mayor's Busk Off a perfect fit with Vintage at Southbank Centre.'

 'Flauticious' aka Miranda Gunn
Thom Byles

More than 70 musicians and singers aged between 16 and 25 have made it through to the public vote in this year's competition, which is organised by the Mayor in conjunction with London Underground. Footage of each of them performing at Tube stations and the British Musical Experience last month has been uploaded onto the official website and people have until 19 June to pick their favourite.

The eleven musicians and singers will then face a panel of judges at the Vintage festival, where they will be competing for the coveted and lucrative prize of a year's licence to busk on the London Underground, plus other prizes including a course at the Academy of Contemporary Music, studio time; the opportunity to play live gigs; and a unique London-Paris link up with Eurostar.

Judges will include Tony Moore, programmer, promoter, musician, Bedford Club; Ellis Rich, CEO Independent Music Group; Arthur Borkwood, Transport for London; Dan Gale, from the band Man Like Me; Tamsin Ace, programmer, Southbank Centre; Jamie West, Busking Underground 2009 winner; Mikey J Asante, producer (Kano) and Musical Director for Boy Blue Entertainment.


June 9, 2011