Mount Maunganui pounds to street beat

By Kiri Gillespie

Pint-sized rockers, street dancers and music dedicated to a lost cat were all part of a whopper Mount Maunganui busking festival this year.

The sun shone for the 70 competitors taking part in the Mount Mainstreet Bay News 2012 Busking Festival yesterday, as a crowd of 25,000 strolled along Maunganui Rd, eating candy floss and cornish pasties and enjoying the entertainment.

Young buskers lined the street early before an open section hosted adults, all vying for the top busker title and $1000 prize.

Drawing one of the largest crowds were Cody Jefferson and Lachlan Burne as Black Ink.<inline type="photogallery" id="15045" align="outside" embed="no" />

The pair performed covers by legendary rock band AC/DC, completing their set with Angus Young's signature guitar stomp, salute and floor spin, much to the delight of onlookers.

AC/DC fan Cory Monteith said he was amazed at the efforts of the young boys, who had the music, moves and the band's heavy rock style "down pat".

Toddlers on wobbly legs gave their best shot at dancing alongside an urban dance crew, who also drew a large audience with their take on music fad Gangnam Style.

The festival also included a performance by Tauranga Intermediate School student Fletcher Oxford, 12.

Fletcher became well known after he dedicated his performance on a reality TV show to his missing cat Sushi.

The heartfelt performance and dedication to his cat sparked the creation of a Facebook fan page titled Sushi Come Home, which has already gained 8327 "likes".

Fletcher's dad Steve Oxford had mixed feelings about the page.

"Most people do nice things on there so the goodness is awesome and it's great that people have embraced the idea of looking for his cat and people have been coming up and saying 'we think we've seen your cat'. But what's not cool is some of the derogatory comments."

The comments have since been deleted.

Mount Mainstreet manager Leanne Brown said she was thrilled with the huge turnout of competitors and spectators.



1st: Alexandra London, $500

2nd: Campbell Mckenzie, $200

3rd: Amelia Axton, $100

Crowd pleaser: Urban Dance - Hysteria, $100

Best effort: AJ - Alyssa Oxenham, $50

People's choice: Maungatapu School Jump Jam, $100


1st: Heremia Taingahue, $1000

2nd: Ukulele Ladies, Maria and Stevie, $500

3rd: Alicia Swanepoel, The Newfolk, $300

Crowd Pleaser: Annaleise McKernon, Josh Durning, $100

People's Choice: Ukulele Ladies, $100

- Bay of Plenty Times

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