Busker Grant Oyston takes part in the Blues Over Byron Busking Competition at The Rails yesterday.
Busker Grant Oyston takes part in the Blues Over Byron Busking Competition at The Rails yesterday.

Buskers? prayers may be answered on stage this Easter at Blues

By LUKE PRENDERGAST EASTER is a time when prayers are answered. Just ask musician Adahmo.

Over Easter 2003, Adahmo went from busking in the streets to jamming with musical superstar Michael Franti.

The dream-come-true scenario was thanks to his win in the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival's second busking competition.

Four years, countless performances and a recording deal later, Adahmo is back, this time to judge the merits of the 2007 crop of entrants.

Heats began yesterday with performances at the Railway, Great Northern and Beach Hotels in Byron Bay. Street performances took place in Railway Park and outside the Great Northern.

The heats continue today and tomorrow, before a select group of four or five finalists are selected to play at the festival on Thursday.

The winner, as judged by an expert panel, will perform a half-hour set on the Apra stage on Monday afternoon. They will receive $500 worth of music equipment, $100 cash and other prizes donated by local businesses. Byron Shire Council, organisers and police are planning for the usual huge influx of visitors on the weekend.

A traffic management plan is in place, with limited parking available at Byron Bay High School and St Finbarrs Primary School. Residents will need to obtain and display a 'resident parking' sticker in order to park in local streets. Council rangers will issue fines for any vehicles without a sticker.

Byron Bay Police Inspector Owen King said police would work at the event and have an increased presence in town in a bid to deter 'antisocial' behaviour.

"We're saying 'come to Byron Bay and enjoy yourselves, just remember to be courteous to other people'," he said. "If anybody does act in an antisocial manner, action will be taken."



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