Brotherfox, winners of the busking competition.
Brotherfox, winners of the busking competition. Cassandra Tobin

Bluesfest buskers test the judges

THE unofficial start to Bluesfest saw two bands take out this year's busking competition.

Brother Fox, a three-piece Brisbane band, were emotional on stage at the Beach Hotel, Byron Bay on Wednesday night after taking out the over 18s competition.

"They were so gracious and humble when they were announced as winners," Anita Colenbranda, Bluesfest Busking Competition organiser, said.

Ms Colenbranda described the band as a Mumford and Sons style of folk-pop.

"It wasn't an easy decision for the judges," she said. "This year it took about 20 minutes for them to reach a decision."

What gave Brother Fox the edge over the other eight finalists was their ability to pull in a crowd on the APRA stage on Monday.

"One of the judging criteria is, if you're walking past the APRA stage at 12 o'clock on Monday, who is going to draw you in and then keep you there for 45 minutes," Colenbranda said.

As well as scoring a slot on the APRA stage on Monday (12.15pm), the band also win recording time at Byron Bay's 301 Studios.

Winners in the "grommets" section were Byron Bay four-piece Lifeline who were one of three bands in the final for the under 18 category.

Lifeline are set to meet John Butler and Mama Kin on Sunday as well as playing the busking tent at Bluesfest on Sunday at 5.30pm.

Other finalists and entrants for this year's competition also get the opportunity to play the busking tent throughout the festival.



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