2007 Masters/Grand shield clash

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by shawneuph, May 14, 2006.

  1. shawneuph

    shawneuph Supporting Member

    The announcement at Blackpool yesterday that the 2007 Spring Festival will be on the weekend of the 19th of May is one of the most poorly thought through decisions of this year, this will mean it is only 7 days before the Cambidge Masters. It was bad enough that this years contest was moved from the 1st weekend of May to the middle weekend of May just 14 days before the Masters but to move it yet another week later for 2007 leaves several bands in a very difficult position. By my reckoning the decision will effect at least 4 bands


    It will be almost impossible for those bands to compete at both contests, for those of you who have spent the last 3 weeks working hard for the Grand Shield and have woken up today hung over and extreamely tired would you be able to then rehearse every night for another week in order to appear at another contest on a different test piece (and the talk is that next years masters piece will be a newly commissioned piece)

    Should any of the above bands have to decline their invite to next years Cambridge Masters then their likely replacements will almost certainly be a band also competing at the Grand Shield.

    In an era where sponsorship in the Brass Band world is declining, (you only have to look at the recent announcement that this years JJB Wigan contest has been cancelled due to the loss of the sponsor) organisers of this countries major contests should be working together to ensure that situations like this do not occur.
    Philip Biggs has worked hard to ensure that the Cambridge Masters continues as a major contest in the Brass Band diary and may I also add that the contest has always been on the last Sunday of May, so why do they keep moving the Grand Shield weekend to a different part of the month ? I understand that the Winter Gardens are not available for the early part of May 2007 in which case either if should have been booked much further in advance or a different venue should be used. Maybe if any of above bands are not able to accept their invite for next years Cambridge Masters they can be given a guaranteed invite for the following years contest.

    Lets hope that that the organisers of the Grand Shield have already booked the Winter Gardens for 2008 and 2009 (and on the 1st weekend of May as previously) to ensure that bands are not put in this position again.
    Last edited: May 14, 2006
  2. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    Can I point out that you don't HAVE to enter either of these contests...they are not compulsory...lol!

    If you are a band who are of a standard good enough to be asked to play in these contests, then you will leave enough preparation time beforehand to be able to cope with playing at both contests.

    There are quite often clashes of a week or two between contests eg, the British Open, Pontins, and the Lower and National Finals, are all within a month....most bands seem to cope with this...

    The key would have to be PREPARATION...

    Think how difficult it would be for the organisers to find a suitable venue to hold three contests...for all I know, it might not have been possible to book the Winter Gardens more than a year in advance...

    Perhaps you could offer assistance to the organisers of next year's (and forthcoming years') contest...????
  3. shawneuph

    shawneuph Supporting Member

    What a load of rubbish we are talking about 2 of the top contests in this country being placed 1 week apart, with 2nd almost certainly using a newly commisioned piece. Its not just to do with the band being able to play the piece its also to do with the demands on the players from their families, their is only so much they can take !!!!
  4. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    And how many bands in the Open do Pontins eh?

    Im presuming you mean in ways other than pouring money back in to the movement by running trade stands at every contest possible and extensive advertising costs with brass publications etc.

    Realistic possibility then, Polysteel / Redbridge will have to compete in the europeans, spring festival and masters in a month?! Yes, we all love contesting but how on earth are you going to have a life outside that sort of committment?
    Last edited: May 15, 2006
  5. aqua76

    aqua76 Member

    THen you also have the clashes with the Europeans, admittedly it doesnt affect maybe as many bands as the Masters, but Newtongrange should have been at Spring Festival yesterday. Also Leyland were at the Euros, maybe they feel their result yesterday suffered due to the hectic schedule they have no doubt had over the last month...
  6. paddo

    paddo Member

    The decision to change the date yet again for next year, for me personally is an absalute nightmere.

    As a Professional Photograher who has weddings booked in as faraway as 2008 how the hell are we supposed to plan ahead.

    Dates in the banding world have more or less been on the same weekend. Take the yorkshire areas for instance, allways the first weekend in March, with the odd one on the last weekend in February. These 2 weekends I allways keep clear, the spring festival should have been either the 5th of May or the 12th next year! not the damn 19th???????

    This added to it been only a week before the masters (will not affect me, thank god) is not a joke, it's ok having comments like "it's not compulsary, and you don't have to attend!" of course bands do! it's what we have all worked all year, year in year out for. changing the dates away from the normal weekends is just not tennis!!

  7. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    You all have your opinions, that is fine...I just don't think that moaning about the dates being changed is actually achieving anything.

    It would be more productive and helpful if the people who spend their time moaning about how bad the system is at the moment, spent time trying to change it, rather than moaning about it.

    A band that is good enough to enter such prestigious contests should, in my OPINION, be able to plan ahead and prepare well enough to be able to cope. Its just my opinion though, I am not saying that this IS the case....

    Many bands have lots of committments every week of the year, and still manage to do fantastically at contest after contest.

    Perhaps the reasons WHY the dates were changed should be properly ascertained before starting to slate the organisers (maybe it wasn't under their control, and trying to find an alternative venue to run 3 contests in one day would also be a nightmare)...

    Like I say...just my opinion...don't really think its fair to have my personal opinion labelled as a 'load of rubbish'...I can justify my opinion as far as I am concerned, just because you may not agree doesn't give you the right to insult what I think.
  8. WorldofBrass.com

    WorldofBrass.com Active Member

    It's unfortunate that the Spring Festival is on 19th May next year and will be tough for any band who may be involved in both.
    12th would have been great but 5th would clash with the European Brass Band Contest.

    The Championship section of the Nationals is the last weekend of October this year although we had got used to it being on the second Saturday of October. This caused Pontins to be put back a week and, incidentally, the International Staff Band visit to Maidenhead to be brought forward a week to avoid clashing.
  9. paddo

    paddo Member

    I'll say it again, and this goes for more and more band folk who work for them selves, I have bookings up and till the end of 2008, what am I supposed to do! not work!! I'll go on the pancrack and sponge off the system THEN I will be able to do all contests, great Idea......

    Yes it is your oppinion and Yes the organisers may have had trouble booking the same date, but eh these are my opinions!!

    in this era of banding where bands are struggling to get bums on seats it is not helping, is it? alot of us have family and probably the same as you, I have a wife that plays also, hey I'll joanne to pack in!!!!

    rant over
  10. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I have a family too...and a husband who plays...and another baby on the way...and I can tell you that our band would be ecstatic about playing at the Masters and the Grand Shield...(we ARE at the GS btw)....

    No-one should be expected to put band before work...I am pretty sure that if I had a choice between entering a contest and earning money to feed my family, I know which one I would pick...

    My philosophy on bookings has always been first come first served (unless something completely unexpected comes along)...lol!

    As for which bands would enter the Open and Pontins...well, if we had qualified on Saturday (just missed out), then WE would have been entering both!!...just like when we competed at the Lower Section Nationals and Pontins within a month of each other a couple of years ago...

    Preparation is the key...and all the bands that are affected by playing in contests close together should KNOW that they will have to prepare for this...and this includes the possibility of using dep players if their own players are not available due to work or family committments.

    Nobody says banding is easy do they?
  11. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    @ Scotchgirl

    Of course you are entitled to your opinions, however I think "Nobody says banding is easy.." is being a bit dismissive. The question is WHY do these things happen, why do we get sub-standard halls to perform in, why is contest day so badly organised and why should we accept having a month taken out of our lives because the organisers have failed to spread the booking of events out? The archaic running of the movement is still, in my mind, the reason numbers are dwindling and if you look at the Masters line up you will realise the contests are being taken less and less seriously.

    Congratulations to your band, you are proof that preparation is the key and I knew you would do well (presuming it is the band I believe it to be).
  12. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I am totally not saying that the situation is ideal...of course it would be much better for banders if the contests were more spread out throughout the year because it would give you much more time to get organised etc...

    I don't want to offend anyone...and I apologise if I have (blame it on pregnancy hormones if you like lol!).

    Maybe it will be better arranged for 2008, but as for next year, at least the bands affected know far enough in advance to try to organise and arrange for rehearsals etc...

    I remember one year, our band had a concert every weekend before competing at Blackpool, so we had concert pieces to prepare, rehearsals almost every night, and it was a nightmare! We still won though because we had done the best that we could to prepare for each event...and we have tried to ensure that we don't try to do as much again!

    I am sure there were very good reasons why the contest had to be moved to a later weekend next year, and perhaps there won't be such a problem for the following year...or maybe the organisers (with a bit of help) will be able to find an alternative date or venue that doesn't cause as much problems to the affected bands...

    As for next year...whatever you think about it...moaning isn't gonna change anything...its not ideal, but it is almost definitely isn't gonna change.
  13. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    We all realise it cant be changed but voicing your concerns with the running of events is the only way you can gauge / express / compile / report public opinion so mistakes dont get made time and time again. My thoughts on 2008 however are less than optimistic and until we see some more forward thinking from organisers of our major events I will continue to dread their next announcement.
  14. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    like scotchgirl, i see no point in complaining about it. you have more than a years notice about it, as its not even the 19th yet!

    paddo, as you have said you are already booking upto 2008. do you not think the organisers are doing a similar thing to ensure that for ONE date in may, they have access to the winter gardens?! there are probably factors about the venue that might prevent them booking the date they would ideally like to have.

    with any event, it will most probably clash with something else. deal with it. everyone has the power to make a decision. there are a few choices you can make IF you happen to be one of the lucky bands that gets invited to both the spring festival and the masters. 1. you play at the spring festival only
    2. you play at the masters only
    3. you play at both
    4. you play at neither

    paddo, i do see where you are coming from in relation to work etc. but you have over 1 year, its not like they are turning round and saying a week before the scheduled date that they can't have it then, its moving to 2 weeks later than scheduled! i reckon you could probably book those weekends up between now and then!

    scotchgirl is right when she says they are not compulsory! sure if you don't attend one of them, you may not get an invite for the following year, but in effect, contesting isn't compulsory to attend. do we do it because we like to compete? why do we do it? why do we do banding? its just a hobby. not the end of the world. so if you have work that clashes like paddo may have, you CAN tell your band soon enough in advance that you have to work then.

    with everything in life one thing or another will clash with something else, and you want to do both. sometimes you can manage to do both. others you have to make a decision of what YOU want to do.

    i don't blame the organisers for this potential clash for a few bands. i don't think they thought "ooh i know, lets put the contest here, and then it can clash with that!" its probably just coincidence that that has happened. as has already been mentioned what about the nationals this year and pontins? both quite big dates in the banding calendar. and what have they done.. they have worked around the problem as best as they can. surely that is what the bands who may want to attend the spring festival and the masters will have to do.

    i think i might be repeating myself now, so.. im gunna leave my thoughts there for a while.
  15. donaldducky

    donaldducky New Member

    This is just politics. The Grand Sheild organisers are involved in the new English Champs in Manchester. The Masters has argued for a Euro Champs place for its winners for years. Work it out for yourself.
    Ther are that many arguments between contest organisations and individuals you wouldnt believe. With the brass band press giving bias to certain individuals and against other national groups. Its a relief to concentrate on the issue of who stole your pencil from the last band practice.
    Atleast the money from the English Champs will go into brass bands.
    The helpers at Harrogate told me that they pay for their own travel an accomodation and we all know the profits go to a private company. Thats kindness.
    The JJB contest was owned by the company and was its owners idea. 40 bands entered this year. The company and its owner cancelled at short notice leaving the organisers no choice but to cancel.
  16. persins

    persins Member

    This announcement is quite frustrating from my point of view. As SWT Woodfalls have been regulars at the Masters for the past few years, we have tended to give that a higher priority. Therre have been numerous discussions about whether to enter the Spring Festival as well but this date change effectively rules out that option due to the time pressures on the band members and also the preparation time to get the piece up to acceptable standards. (Please note that this is just my opinion and not an official statement on the intentions of SWT Woodfalls in this matter!!!!)

    It seems to show that once again, the major contests appear to work in total isolation from each other. There does appear to be a choice looming for those fortunate enough to be invited to both contests as it would be very difficult to compete at the top level for both the Spring Festival and the Masters.

    The issue of preparation has been brought up earlier in the thread and is valid. However, in order to dovetail multiple test pieces and concert programmes, you really need consistency in both the players and conductors. If the same players / conductor cannot committ to all of the engagements, then the preparation cannot be structured adequately to produce a top quality performance in all cases.
  17. paddo

    paddo Member

    yes your right I could book those other two weeks, but you seem to be missing one vital point! I cannot miss the damn weddings that have been booked for that weekend though? can I!!

    I can't one to two years in advance say "oh the spring festival will be some time in May, I'll not book anything!!"

  18. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Touche! The sooner the contest organisers start working for the bands and not their own interests the better.
  19. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    did you miss my point about banding being JUST A HOBBY?

    i don't know you, i don't know your life, i don't know what you do at contests, its fairly obvious you are a photographer though. what do you do at these contests? play? take pictures? both?

    if you only play, im sure someone can take your place as in my view work comes before band. if you take photo's at the contests, then i can see your predicament. as they would both be work things!
  20. paddo

    paddo Member

    right! lets get this in perspective here!! I have been at this game for quite some years now and it has only got worse recently.

    I am a photographer, both bands and weddings but I am on about weddings here and not just any wedding one of the *****y band members weddings!! at least 5 of us will be missing!!!!

    Bands are in short supply of players, 20 years ago you could manage it, player can't make it some one local could help out, but then again you wouldn't remeber that!;)

    The problem with the spring festival is that you cannot borrow from any other participating band from any section including the british open, thats alot of players that cannot dep!

    The point about this whole thread is for people to air there views on the matter, not put people down for doing so!

    I have stated that it has caused problems for my self, nothing to do with wether or not it is a hobby or that work comes first. Of course work comes first. unless you a pro musician or a student and then it is not a problem, is it!

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