A competition to find Manchester’s next big busking talent is underway, and all of Market Street’s a stage.
The 1BlueString campaign, created by 1in6.org, challenges conventional wisdom regarding sexual abuse, raising awareness and bringing support to the “1 in 6 men who have had unwanted sexual experiences, including abuse and assault.”
The 1BlueSting campaign asks guitarists, “at all levels, in all genres,” to replace one of their six strings with a blue string.
To support the campaign, Survivors Manchester asks fellow Mancunians to send a video or link of your favourite local buskers along with the performer’s name and contact details, or of yourself for that matter, to Survivors Manchester via Twitter or Facebook.
A live final will be held on the 19th November, International Men’s Day, at The Printworks. The overall winner will receive £500 in vouchers.
The campaign has already received many great entries so far but Survivors Manchester wants to encourage people from all walks of life to enter the competition.
CEO and founder of Survivors Manchester and survivor himself, Duncan Craig, said: “You only have to walk down Market Street to know that our city is absolutely packed full of musical talent.”
The campaign has been widely supported by people across the arts. Judges of Manchester’ Got Busker Talent, and ambassadors of Survivors Manchester will include “Hollyoaks and Emmerdale actor James Sutton; Edinburgh Fringe Award-winning comedian Richard Gadd; UK’s leading dating industry expert and blogger, Charley Lester; and male rape campaigner and DJ, Sam Thompson, aka BassDuckFresh.”
Steve Walters, retired professional footballer and Gareth Brooks, a previous DJ from XFM, have also come out on social media to support the campaign, whilst music colleges from across the city have shared the campaign, encouraging their own musicians to get on board.
Survivors Manchester thanks those who have supported the campaign and in particular, Fred Booth, centre manager at The Printworks “for hosting the event on Sunday 19th November absolutely free of charge.”
Duncan Craig, a survivor himself says “‘Manchester’s Got Busker Talent’ is our latest campaign to reach new audiences and encourage men and boys to speak out and get the support they need.”
Since creating Survivors Manchester in 2009, Duncan Craig said he’s “massive change over the years on people talking about males being victims of sexual violence”.
“I launched Survivors Manchester in 2009 because I was looking for support in Manchester, and realised there were no services available for male survivors of historical abuse.”
Now, with the support of a team and ambassadors, Survivors Manchester now provides boys and men affected by sexual abuse, rape and sexual exploitation with a range of services and support.
When asked how working on Survivors Manchester has helped him, Duncan Craig said:
“As a survivor myself, I know how incredibly important it is to be seen and heard and have an outlet to communicate thoughts and feelings — whether that’s in a group or one-on-one, but that isn’t just about talking, it’s about expressing yourself in a healing way — say through music.”
All nominations for “Manchester’s Got Busker Talent” must be received by Friday the 10th of November. Survivors Manchester encourages as many people as possible to support the campaign and help break the silence for male survivors of sexual abuse.