Performers sought

Local performers are being offered a busking opportunity in Banchory.

Anyone seeking a place to perform and who wants to experience or practice playing their instrument or singing in front of a crowd, is invited to consider the St Ternan’s Fair weekend.

Orgainsers say this could provide musicians and singers with just the opportunity they need to gain recognition locally and start their career in music.

Busking, or street performing, was once the popular choice of employment for musical artists before the electronic age, and is a centuries-old tradition. The wandering minstrels and bards travelled around entertaining in towns and villages along the way, carrying news and messages with them - acting as news reporters as well as entertainers.

Many famous bands and musicians starting out busking, from Bob Dylan and Lou Reed to Dolly Parton and the Manic Street Preachers.

Singer James Morrison said: “I used to take all my mates with me, and some days there’d be a massive crowd that’d stop and watch. It’s how I got experience of playing in front of people without getting nervous. And I could make good money – 70 quid an hour sometimes. And there would be crowds of teenage girls....I’d get lads heckling because they were jealous!”

Anyone interested can contact the organisers at: banchory.distric@btconnect.com as they would like to allocate spaces and times to allow everyone to be heard.

The 10th annual St Ternan Fair is on the weekend of June 2-4, in a joint celebration with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The weekend will include Upstairs Downstairs in Banchory Museum and Library, entertainment in Scott Skinner Square, Queen Victoria’s arrival, Banchory Lions St Ternan Book Fair, storytelling in the library, children’s activities in the museum, North East of Scotland Ferret Racing Championships, SSPCA Companion Dog Show, charity stalls, Banchory Birl, street football, parade to Bellfield Park, music in the park, Jubilee Beacon procession and a Jubilee Beacon on Scolty Hill.

The fair revives the tradition of the St Ternans Fair Market held in medieval times, when vendors travelled to Banchory along the drovers roads and set up stall to sell their wares, with entertainment provided by itinerant musicians.