THE best of York’s buskers have been rewarded for keeping residents and visitors entertained.

Buskival – a two-day celebration of street performance over the Diamond Jubilee weekend – saw acts perform in various locations, with those who listened voting for their favourites.

Three winners were chosen for each day of the event and they yesterday picked up their prizes – vouchers from homeware chain HomeSense – from staff at its York store and the city’s Lord Mayor, Coun Keith Hyman.

HomeSense sponsored the City of York Council-organised festival, with the first day’s victors being the eight-piece New York Brass Band.

Trombonist Charlie Lancaster, 17, and saxophonist Sally Brierley, 31, both from Huntington, collected the £200 prize. Sally said: “We’ve been busking for about a year and a half, because it means you play in front of big crowds and it’s good practice.

“We play New Orleans street music and pop songs in a different style, so it’s quite energetic. We were really surprised to win, though.”

Charlie said: “It’s always a lot of fun – just messing around with your friends, really – and we seem to go down pretty well with the public.”

Singer/guitarist Neill Ryan and Japanese drumming group Kaminari took second and third-place in the Saturday vote while Sunday’s top-rated buskers were Sherburn-in-Elmet guitar and violin due Joe and James.

Guitarist James Beaumont, 13, said: “It’s good experience to play in front of a crowd which isn’t actually an audience – people are just passing by, so it’s less daunting. There aren’t many other guitar-violin acts around, so we’re something a bit different.”

The duo’s “signature tune” is their take on the Coldplay hit Clocks. Violinist Joe Wilson, 16, said: “We play anything people will recognise and we were over the moon to win, because we were up against people who’ve been busking for years.”

One-man band Matthew Aspinall took Sunday’s second prize, with singer/guitarist Antony McDonagh third.

Richard Andrews, HomeSense’s York manager, said: “We were very proud to have sponsored the first-ever Buskival, as York was alive over the jubilee weekend with some of the best street performers the city has to offer.”