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Ambassador Blog: Sam Thompson

The Judge of Busker Talent

I like to think of myself as someone that knows a lot about music. It can be found in every nook and cranny of my personal and professional life so therefore judging a group of talented musicians should be a walk in the park, shouldn’t it?

I’ve never been a judge nor have I ever been involved with a talent contest of any description, which means as of yet ‘Sam the judge’ has yet to make his debut. The only issue is that if I am totally honest my knowledge in this area consists of the “golden age” of the X Factor, back in the days of a three judge panel and a genuine hunt for the next big thing. It seems now that the show is more a platform for Samsung to present you with as many of their shiny new products as possible before Apple realise and find an ‘in’ with Strictly Come Dancing.

What I am trying to get at is that I’m reluctant to tarnish my intellect by seconding myself to an hour of drivel every Saturday night in order to create my own judging persona. Therefore I shall have to decide for myself what is the best way to approach this panel and determine what I will be looking for from Manchester’s #buskertalent. With the lack of boy band entrants from Ireland and all my high waist denim sitting below the minimum requirement I doubt it would be much use anyway.

#1bluestring is a global campaign, created by 1in6.org that asks guitarists of all levels to replace one of their six strings to support the 1 in 6 men who have had unwanted sexual experiences. Survivors Manchester are bringing this brand new campaign to Manchester by asking the talented buskers from in and around the city to showcase themselves at ‘Manchester’s Got Busker Talent’. The event is taking place at The Printworks on Sunday 19th November and there’s £500 in vouchers up for grabs! I’ve been asked to judge the event alongside my fellow Survivors Manchester Ambassadors’, which is how I’ve been presented with this judging conundrum.

Taking in to account that this is an awareness campaign it wouldn’t be reasonable for me to behave like one of the dragons from inside the den but by the same token I am not going to be judging a 5 year olds colouring contest, I’ll need to find that balance. I think that a successful busker needs to have an element of charm in order for them to literally be able to stand out within a crowd, plus nobody enjoys watching a performance lacking enthusiasm and passion so this will be something to keep my eye out for. Last but not least I will instantly score ‘0’ (if I am given the ability to score) to every person that decides it is a great idea to cover Ed Sheeran. As much as I think that the goofy red head is a talented man following the crowd by covering his overplayed ‘classics’ lacks individuality and is not a quick route to success in my mind.

With the cheat sheet I’ve just provided there is still time to enter yourself or your favourite buskers.

All nominations need to be sent to Survivors Manchester via our Twitter on @SurvivorsMcr or Facebook /SurvivorsMcr before 10th November.

I look forward to seeing what you have to offer!

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