Australian National Busking Championships

logo busker_australian national busking championships

Links To All Our Regional Busking Competitions

ANBC – A Unique Australia Wide Music Festival

Our Aims:

  1. To enrich communities culturally and economically around Australia by staging regional busking competitions.
  2. To provide a stage for community based music groups and individual performing artists to present street performance to larger public audiences.
  3. To encourage, mentor, promote and develop career pathways for emerging musicians and performing artists.
  4. To establish an annual music and busking festival in Cooma NSW that is of national significance.


The Australian National Busking Championships (ANBC) is now in it’s 6th year. For the first four years the ANBC has been held exclusively in Cooma NSW, the picturesque and historic capital of Australia’s Snowy Mountains. We have thought of these early years as the first stage in the ANBC vision for the future.

The next stage now is to make this event a truly National Championship by holding ANBC Regional Busking Competitions in various regional towns around Australia. The winners from these regional events will be then invited to complete in the National Grand Final back in Cooma in November of each year.

We have had many inquiries from several regional towns from the states of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania. We are now actively looking for more regional towns to partner with us.

Here are a list of Our Regional Championships for 2017 so far:

*Stanthorpe Qld – Saturday 25th February 2017

*Ballarat Vic – Saturday 18th March 2017

*Narooma NSW – 27th May 2017

*Noosa Heads Qld – June 2017

*Peak Hill NSW – 23rd September 2017

*Regional Championship & National Grand Final – Cooma NSW – 4th November 2017

A Unique Music Festival:

The String Family_ANBC Open Champions 2015

The String Family_ANBC Open Champions 2015

The Australian National Busking Championships™ is a different sort of music festival for Australia. Music festivals in Australia have typically been based on a particular style of music, e.g. Tamworth Country Music Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Byron Bay Blues Festival. The ANBC is a celebration of all styles of music because the buskers that perform in this festival bring a huge variety of music to the event. Whether that be Blues, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Folk, Country, Bluegrass, Indigenous, Multicultural or Classical, the Australian National Busking Championships™ reflects the rich diversity of Australian music culture.

Tickets for most music festivals are expensive; in the ANBC all the street entertainment is provided free of charge. The audience can, of course, tip the busker but that is their choice. All this wonderful music is performed literally feet away from them.

Although there are buskers at many music festivals in Australia, busking is typically relegated to a fringe activity. However, in this festival the buskers take pride of place. This festival brings music back to the people, back to the streets.

ABC News : ANBC Cooma 2015

Australia All Over Interview with Macca:

ABC Statewide Radio (Queensland) interview:

How Does This Work?

Sample Busking Hot Spots Map

Sample Busking Hot Spots Map – no longer current

The buskers are assigned special locations (Busking Hot Spots), at various times, around the central business district of the participating town. A timetable is given to all the registered buskers. Roaming judges assess these busking performances during the day. The Judges produce a short list of the best buskers who are then invited to compete in a Finals Concert at the end of the day. The prizes are then awarded to the buskers with the most outstanding performances at this Finals Concert. In the past, the venue for the Finals Concert has been a centrally located park. But a larger indoor performance venue may also be suitable

The Prizes for the Best Buskers

Anna Browne_Primay Champion

Anna Browne_Primay Champion

The prize-winners for the Age Categories will be selected by a panel of judges at the Finals Concert.

The Age Categories are:

  • Primary (Primary school students)
  • Secondary (Secondary school students)
  • Open

The 1st place getters in each of these age categories for each of the ANBC Regional Busking Competitions will be invited to go on to compete in the National Grand Finals in Cooma NSW.

Apart from the Age Category Prizes there are a number of other prizes and awards that are open to all ages.  These include:

Some of the great prizes won by lucky members of the public in the Busker Dollar Lucky Draw

Some of the great prizes won by lucky members of the public in the Busker Dollar Lucky Draw

The People’s Choice Award. This prize is awarded to the busker that get the most Busker Votes.

  • The public will be able to purchase Busker Votes for $1 each on the day from their local Rotary Club.
  • Limit of 50 Busker Votes per customer.
  • The customer must validate their Busker Votes by writing their name and telephone number on the back of their Busker Votes. Invalid Busker Votes will not be counted.
  • The public then can vote for their favorite busker by tipping that busker with Busker Votes.
  • By the way, all of the Busker Votes will be placed into a Lucky Draw for several great prizes. The Busker Votes Lucky Draw will be conducted during the Finals Concert at the end of the day after all the Busker Votes have been counted. So the public can share in the fun of the Finals Concert by having a chance at winning prizes.
  • Besides Busker Votes, the buskers may also me tipped by the public with real money! They get to keep 100% of that money. The organisers are also happy for them to sell their CDs and other merchandise.
Sample of 2016 ANBC Stanthorpe Busking Dollar

Sample of 2016 ANBC Stanthorpe Busking Vote






Best Band Award. This is awarded to the best group or ensemble of 3 or more performers

Special Judges Awards. These are awards that, where appropriate, recognise and encourage the abilities of some buskers in various categories and with a variety of skills. In the past, we have awarded Special Judges Awards for:

  • Indigenous,

    Will Thompson_Special Judges Award_Abilities

    Will Thompson_Special Judges Award_Abilities

  • Ability (for buskers with a disability),
  • Multicultural,
  • Family,
  • Country/Bluegrass,
  • Blues,
  • Jazz,
  • Classical
  • Folk
  • Community Based Music
  • Youth Encouragement
  • Most Innovative

This list is just an example of some of the possible categories for the Special judges Awards. Some of these  categories may not be applicable for all ANBC events. There may also be other different categories not listed here, that may be added depending on the variety and quality of the busking performances. The list of Special Judges Awards will be decided by the local organizers and judges at each Regional Competition.

proudly presented by the rotary club of cooma new logoThe Rotary Club Partnership.

In 2014, the Rotary Club of Cooma offered their assistance in running this community based event. Ever since, ANBC has gone from strength to strength. The ANBC committee sees this Rotary connection has vital to the continual growth of this great event.

The Australian National Busking Championships™ has the unique ability to provide significant benefits to the performers, the venue hosts, local businesses, community organisations and the general public. We hope you can join us in providing this wonderful event for your town or a town near you. Celebrate with us, Australia’s rich and diverse music street culture!



Past Years Championshipsmusic for the young and young at heart

  • 2012 ANBC Cooma
  • 2013 ANBC Cooma
  • 2014 ANBC Cooma
  • 2015 ANBC Cooma
  • 2016 ANBC Stanthorpe (Regional Competition)
  • 2016 ANBC Cooma


Facebook-Like modern smaller 2More Information:

  • Allan Spencer 
  • phone +61 2 6452 6067 
  • email:
  • Facebook Page:


  1. Why Busk?
  2. How do they judge the buskers? They’re all so different.
  3. How long should I busk for if I want to win a prize?

12 thoughts on “Australian National Busking Championships

  1. Bilal Siddique

    Hi I am Bilal
    Just have a quick question, does it have to be music cause I am Magician and comedian and love to perform and take a risk to win 10000 dollars.
    Please reply

  2. Greg Banks

    Hi Allan I was wondering what time does the event start and finish ? , and how long do the buskers perform for ( each set ) ? I am filling out the entry form, working out how many sets to do , will be traveling from the Blue Mts over night before the big day . might see you there Greg

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  4. Carol Holden

    Hi There
    My kids won a Special Judges Award at the Narooma busking comp this year. Can they enter at Cooma?

  5. Geoff Melville

    Been speaking with Tony Nassar from Roses Lebanese Restaurant.
    Our Rotary Club considering a weekend in Cooma.
    Tony suggested that “heats” were being run by some Rotary Clubs.

    We are interested to know more….

    PP Geoff Melville 0414 692 270

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