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The Voice star Daniel Duke looks forward to performing at Banbridge's Buskfest

By Ricky Thompson

Published 20/05/2015

Star of The Voice and award winning singer-songwriter Daniel Duke has returned to his hometown in County Down to promote its annual international busking festival.

Now in its 12th year, Banbridge's Buskfest attracts more than 6000 people from around the world who come to experience dozens of budding musicians battling it out to win lucrative cash prizes.

A previous  winner of one of those prizes is Daniel Duke who shot to fame on The Voice with his own rendition of The Proclaimers' 500 Miles.

He and his band (Daniel and The Lion) stormed the festival, landing them the top accolade.

Fresh from his stint on the BBC talent show, Daniel is back in Banbridge and will be presenting an award to the overall winner, as well as headlining the main event on June 27.

Taking time out from his busy schedule, Daniel said he's excited to be back promoting the festival: "For me,Buskfest is kind of the place where I cut my teeth. I grew up in Banbridge and I went to Buskfest every year.

"A couple of years ago we actually won it and won a big cash prize - it was really nice. So for me, it's really lovely to be coming full circle, right round to be headlining the main stage now."

Daniel said the festival's competition is an excellent way to showcase local talent: "It's fantastic. It's a really good opportunity for people to get out there and it's good for confidence. I've been busking for a long time and it's the best stage you could ever have for going out there and getting your confidence up.

"People don't always listen but you learn how to grab the crowd, you learn how to project.

"It's a brilliant opportunity, there are prizes to be won and people to meet and it's just a really good day out in Banbridge as well. It should be good fun to hand out an award to somebody following in my footsteps."

The competition has a prize pot of £3000, with categories including best band, best individual and overall winner.

The overall winner will not only receive £1000, they will also land a prime spot on the line-up at Sunflowerfest which takes place in Hillsborough, Co Down later this year.

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