The first Isle of Wight Busking event, organised by the newly formed Sandown Community Association, took place on Thursday (December 6).
Most of the shops on Sandown High Street stayed open late and entered in the spirit with special offers and Christmas window displays. Shoppers were also able to take advantage of free parking for the evening.
Despite the inclement weather, ten hardy buskers performed and competed for over 2 hours, at various points around the town. Visitors were given voting cards so they could choose their favourites. Everyone had a great time and there were lots of requests for the event to be repeated. Provisionally two events are being planned for 2019, one in mid-summer and another later in the year.
The event was won by 11-year-old Lily Street, who sung her heart out, performing a wide range of songs, despite clutching a hot water bottle to keep out the cold. Lily goes to High School in Newport and was using the busking amp that her Dad had bought her for her last birthday, to great effect. She wants to have a career in the West End or maybe as a pop singer when she is older and on this performance she could go far. Maybe we will see her on X Factor or Britain’s got Talent in the future!
Second place went to Sandown’s own “Boogie Woogie Sisters”, consisting of Kerrie Hasty, her sister Lisa Gray and husband Mark Gray. They performed vintage style music with a fun vibe, accompanied by ukulele and double bass.
Third place went to music teacher Marie Smith, from Ryde, who played some lovely tunes on her saxophone. Marie also performs on a range of instruments, around the island and is in great demand for weddings etc.
The prize giving was held afterwards in the Tap and manager Kevin Barclay-Jay presented the winners with unusual glass “I’ve got the S Factor” medals, donated by Glory Art Glass, and the first prize of £100, which was donated by The Tap.
Over 200 people attended the event, and many were able to secure some bargain Christmas gifts from the shops, that stayed open late, and enjoy the towns Christmas tree and High Street lights.
The next event in Sandown High Street will be the annual Funday, which runs from 10.30 till 3.30 on Christmas Eve. This promises to be bigger and better this year as Hullabaloo and Sandown Business Association have joined forces.