Musicians take their talent to streets of city
STRUMMING on their old guitars for more than just a pocketful of change – acoustic acts will take to the city's streets as part of a major competition.
Battle of the Buskers, running alongside Hull Trinity Festival, will see performers follow in the footsteps of the Housemartins next month.
The Hull band hit the dizzy heights of fame after humble beginnings playing to passers-by and now local performers will do the same for the chance to win a prize worth £1,000.
Hull Business Improvement District (Bid) is supporting the competition and the first heat kicks off on Wednesday, July 4, at Oscars Bar in Silver Street.
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Kathryn Shillito, Hull Bid city centre manager, said: "The Housemartins climbed to the top of the charts in 1986, but initially made their name by busking down Whitefriargate.
"Whether any of our current performers can match that success remains to be seen but there is a lot of local talent.
"The Hull Trinity Festival and the Battle of the Buskers are about giving them the opportunity to perform.
"Both events will also help to support businesses around the city centre, from the pubs and café bars that are hosting the live music to other retailers who can again benefit from the big crowds attracted by such popular activities."
The £1,000 prize is split into £500 cash and a professional recording studio session worth a further £500.
Hull Trinity Festival take place between Friday, July 27, and Sunday, July 29, across 16 pubs and café bars in the Old Town.
Emily Tura runs vintage clothing stall Em's Hems in Trinity Market and works part-time at Oscars Bar.
She is hoping the competition will help her break through in the music industry.
Emily said: "It's really hard, working six days a week trying to build my own business and keeping the other job going.
"I have been playing guitar since I was six. I wrote my first song when I was 13 and I also play ukulele, so music is really important to me.
"Sometimes I play while I'm working at the stall – it helps to attract people."
She believes the new competition will attract a lot of musicians.
"Battle of the Buskers is a great idea," Emily said. "I didn't even know there was a prize when I entered.
"The money would make a huge difference to my business.
"The studio time would also be brilliant because, while I've recorded two EPs in the past, it would be amazing to work with professionals."
Lee Kirman, owner of Oscars Bar, said: "Hull Trinity Festival was a great success last year and will be even bigger and better this year thanks to the support of Hull Bid.
"We want the Battle of the Buskers to become a major part of the festival.
"We know there is a lot of musical talent in this city and we hope the fantastic prizes will attract a lot of competition."