Empire calling for Garrity

FIVE years after he first strummed his guitar on the streets of Belfast, John Garrity has established himself as one of the leading lights on the local music scene.

Commonly known as the ‘Belfast Busker’, the Enniskillen singer is set to return to the Empire Music Hall in Belfast for a major sell-out show on August 27, four years after his last appearance in the venue.

He’s looking forward to what is expected to be a sold-out show in the Botanic Avenue venue.


“It’s a big music venue and I’ve seen a lot of great acts there,” Garrity told the Herald.

“The last time we did the gig in the Empire, a lot of people from Fermanagh attended and we’re about 50 percent of the way there and we’re heading for a sell out.”

Radio station Cool FM and commercial company Boost NI are supporting Garrity on his Belfast performance, with the aim of inspiring more people to get involved in street busking.

“We’re looking for two people to become the next busker in Belfast and Derry,” explained the ‘Belfast Busker’.

“We’re giving those two people the opportunity to perform on the big stage on the night. If I’d have had this opportunity growing up, I would have grabbed it with both hands,” he added.

Garrity’s music career has gone from strength to strength, ever since he made his TV debut when he appeared on the Nolan Show, alongside Dublin rock band, Kodaline.

“I’ve met a lot of great people and done well out of it,” said the former Glór Tíre singer.


“We went through Covid during that time and I’ve got to do some great gigs here (in Ireland) and travelling in Dubai, Thailand, Las Vegas and numerous weddings in Spain, Italy and France.”

The ‘Belfast Busker’ is a regular performer in Belfast and he even has his own mural in the city. He does concede, however, that street busking is becoming a lot more challenging.

“It’s hard to find the time,” he said, “and Belfast is going through a bit of a time tough, with the anti social behaviour in the city centre, but at the same time the council are pushing me out a lot more.”

Last Friday, the Enniskillen singer teamed up with former Eurovision singer, Brian Kennedy, for a special show. He was delighted to have the opportunity to perform with the hit singer.

“I grew up listening to Brian (Kennedy) a lot and then in Belfast, I’ve seen him about a lot and met him. It will definitely bring something different,” said a proud Garrity.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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