Battle of the Busker

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Here’s what happened when Time Out invited four of Melbourne’s best buskers to go head-to-head, with the winner decided by the audience

Buskers are just as much a part of our magical, musical city as trams, espresso and laneways. Live music is in Melbourne’s blood, and as the live music capital of Australia, Melbourne plays host to some of the best buskers around, whether they’re solo singer-songwriters, or four-piece indie bands.

On Thursday May 18, over 200 music-lovers lined up for their chance to attend Melbourne’s new two-storey laneway container bar, Whitehart. Our editors had selected four finalists out of the many applicants who answered the call for Battle of the Busker (as part of Good Beer Week) and tonight, they would each perform a 15-minute set, after which the audience would vote for their favourite.

First up was singer-songwriter Joni Sheila, who immediately got the crowd singing along to her cover of ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, then moved onto some of her original tracks. While the next band prepared for their set, guests enjoyed beers from Yenda Beer and snacks from Dexter.

Next up was indie band Amber Isles, who drew an impressive crowd with their shoegazey rock. Then, Craigus McVegas and the Sistahood spun the room out with their dreamy, fully improvised sound. Lastly, deep house and world music-inspired group Rivertribe – who you might’ve seen at festivals across the world – brought the trippy vibes to Whitehart.

The votes came in thick and fast, and the winner of the night was none other than Joni Sheila, who went away with a prize pack worth nearly $2,000, courtesy of Time Out and Yenda.

Time Out loves buskers – and so does the rest of Melbourne. Congratulations to all those who performed at our inaugural Battle of the Busker, and stay tuned for the next Time Out event.

This event was made possible thanks to Yenda Beer – your liquid fun times sorted.

By: Time Out Promotions

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