New designated busker spot
A new designated spot for buskers to perform on the streets of Ballymena has been officially opened.
Shoppers, café goers and retailers alike can enjoy performances from an array of local artists at the new spot, clearly marked at the bottom of Greenvale Street.
The project, rolled out by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Ballymena BID and the Department for Communities, aims to support local musicians post-pandemic to re-animate our town centres following lockdown.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey said: “The spot is placed at one of the towns best known areas for buskers, with street performers regularly found at the bottom of Greenvale Street.
“The new busker spot sign, based on a guitar plectrum, is merely to make this spot more official and to show musicians and town centre users that busking is welcomed and encouraged here.
“It’s been great working with BID and DFC to help create a more official area for our fantastic local musical talent or performers to breathe fresh life into our high street as we emerge from lockdown. It’s hoped the initiative will form a community of performers who can support each other and maybe even collaborate together.
“Fostering new talents and bringing life to our high streets across Mid and East Antrim is so important for council and we’re excited to see - and hear – the performers and what they can add to the retail and hospitality offerings here in Ballymena.”
There’s a number of performers booked to perform over the next month to launch the new spot, but will usually operate on a first come, first served basis.
Tiernan Heffron, Rebecca Hall, Dylan McIlwaine and Lorcan Falls will be entertaining the Saturday shoppers throughout August.
Emma McCrea from Ballymena BID said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this amazing initiative. Music adds additional atmosphere to the town and the overall experience for visitors to Ballymena.
“We encourage musicians from near and far to make use of this great location and show Ballymena your talent.”
The initiative is part of the council’s Midtown Sounds, a project.
led by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council that provides a platform for musicians in the borough, and organisers have worked hard to ensure the programmed sessions give them the support to remain creative.