Flamenco dancers, folk singers and a magician will be among the street artists descending on Bradford city centre for a buskers festival.

More than 15 acts will be at three locations – Northgate, Newmarket Place and Darley Street – throughout the summer as part of a drive to entice shoppers into the city centre.

Bob Parker, city centre operations manager for Bradford Council, told a meeting of retailers at City Hall last night that many of the acts were “enthusiastic” about the summer busking festival, which if successful could become a regular event.

He told the meeting of Bradford retailers and businesses: “Folk bands, singers, jazz quartets and ten rappers have already been in touch and there are various markets going on through the summer. I am quite surprised with the number of buskers who have come forward and I am really looking forward to it.”

Each will be vetted by the Council to make sure their talents are up to scratch. Confirmed acts already include guitar player and singer Matthew Toczek, Irish folk band Rakish Paddy and Hebden Bridge Flamenco Group. London-based magician, Magic Singh, is also expected to bring his “David Blaine” style street magic to Bradford’s streets during the festival, which will be every Saturday for nine weeks from July 2.

More acts will be announced in the Telegraph & Argus. Councillor David Green, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration and the economy, said: “I will back anything that brings people into the city centre.

“We would like to extend it, certainly over the spring and summer, as long as the buskers are good at what they do.”

The planned festival dovetails with Backing Bradford, a new campaign by the T&A and Bradford Council to drive loyalty to Bradford’s many shops from people living in the city and wider district as the effects of the recession and the Government’s austerity programme kick in.

John Lee, T&A head of advertising, revealed details of the 26-week campaign to businessmen and women at last night’s meeting. The high-profile marketing campaign will be launched tomorrow with a Backing Bradford booklet full of discount offers from local businesses.

It will include a key fob, which shoppers will need to show to claim discounts from the booklet.

There will also be online promotions to encourage shoppers into Bradford, said Mr Lee. “We need to support city centre business,” he said. “Westfield (developers behind the proposed Broadway project) are now moving forward but it is going to be a two-and-a-half to three year building project and we need to fill that void by publicising what we have in the city centre.

“As a Bradfordian, I am positive and passionate about Bradford and what we need to remember is that we have some great shops and businesses here.”

  • Read the full story Thursday’s T&A