4 Competitions to decide the Champions of Wales...you must be joking

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by nickjones, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    I am suprised no one has commented on this already. these are my own views on the subject....
    the idea to have the "Old System " with 4 competitions ( 3 down in south wales) and a token gesture for a competition up North( I have even heard the idea that bands can use a joker or have a bye to miss out a competition so how many South Wales bands would use the bye to miss the North Wales competition out). Here are some Ideas for the SE Wales association and the movers and shakers involved in competitions in Wales , If there is even a need for a welsh league championchip structure.

    1. 3 Competitons to decide the Champion Band of Wales

    NUMBER 1
    The Area in Swansea or another finacially viable venue in South Wales ( the new Millenium Centre ) instead of paying £1800 for the Brangwyn for the weekend ( as I have posted before this or any building don't come cheap for a full weekend ) when you take into account H&Safety , front of House and janitorial and cleaning staff. I have looked into the hire of the Brangwyn Hall for other events and have been told it is never given free for the whole weekend , this is a myth that you can get the building without paying a hire charge.

    NUMBER 2
    A Competition with a central venue so all bands in Wales have the same travel times ( the highly succsesful Welsh Area held in Aberystwth in the mid 1990's is testement to the Fact that all bands in Wales will travel to the area if it is held in a cetral venue.

    NUMBER 3
    A Competition in North Wales , a few years ago the North Wales Association Rally used to be well supported by All North Wales Bands , we even had bands like Preist Lindley from Huddersfield and Ifton coming over to compete. we have the venues and the bands , and it will also give South Wales bands Some idea on what you have to do to compete at the area .

    Retain the area as the qualifying berth for the European ( if in future there is going to be a democratic , well run , finacially viable European competition which does not become a one horse race.)As has been suggested what other competition decides a title over 4 competitions?
    At the end of the day all Bands in Wales don't have a genourous benifactor or thousands of pounds to outlay on a competiton.
    give everyone a fair chance.
    what are peoples views on this?
  2. SuperHorn

    SuperHorn Member

    It's not a token of gesture to have only one contest in North Wales. We have to thrash out the finer points of all contests before going down this route. Give this great opportunity a chance - don't knock it on the head before giving up.

    As an association we are trying to raise the profile of Welsh banding before it comes to an abrupt end (except for the minority). The demise of local contests in South Wales (of which we don't attend in all honesty) is at its lowest point and organisers can see the trend continuing. I say, re-introduce if not a four a three contest system that can truly represent Welsh interests in Europe. This will also get all top bands in all sections competing against each other on a regular basis. This will help all when competing against other home nation bands in national finals etc.

    It working for regional rugby in Wales, why not brass bands??

    If you have read Mr Childs comments on 4barsrest he has already thrown the gauntlet down by saying it will not work: higher profile contest / concerts that BAYV attend. However, other than winning the European year on year, unless they turn up at local contests they will not represent Wales in Europe, it's as simple as that.

    The cost will always be the main concern, Cwmaman have to play Carols at Asda, Marks & Spencers hold our annual duck race and a Rugby sweep to keep things going. We made £3000 at Xmas, £1000 from ducks and should make £600 from the Rubgy sweep starting tomorrow. Even though we receive £1000 per year from Tower Colliery that's gone with one week rehearsals with a Profesional Director. My point, the money is out there, people in all bands have to work for it. If you want something anyone can get it. Lets share fundraising ideas - This forum is a great way of letting bands know how other bands raise cash nationally / internationally.

    One year we required mutes for each section of the band - Endeavor was the test piece Pontins Brean Sands 1991/92. Our committee didn't want to spend £1000 on mutes so we were not going to attend. A few of us got together went around all the houses in Cwmaman and raised over £1200 selling raffle tickets explaining why the cash was needed. People started to donate prizes and support was amazing. All mutes were purchased are still going strong 13 /14 yrs later. Anthing can be achieved when a goal is set. The Welsh should support this proposal. It would be great to compete against BAYV, Tredegar, Beaumaris, Tongwynlais etc on a regular basis.

    I have been told that a similar proposal will be or has been suggested for Scottish Bands. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Anyway to the points you raised;

    Point One - Hiring the venue at Swansea - it's provided, free of charge. Also I believe that Swansea Council does / did provide £1000 to the contest where upon this was earmarked for North Wales bands to travel as it was a Wales wide event (not much I know but it helps). Further help may be gained from other Local Authorities if the contest is run on a national (all Wales) basis we can only ask!!!!

    Point Two - Central location for all bands to travel, don't know why Aberstwyth was not picked again probably due to point one - free of charge.

    Point Three - What competition is held over four competitions - Six Nations, it's not winner takes all on the first day of rugby - the highest number of points scored on that day doesn't take home the silverware. A number of sporting events are the same.

    Lets all rally around and introduce a Welsh event three or four times a year and raise the profile of Welsh banding as a whole.
  3. stopher

    stopher Member

    Not this AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

    The debate over the Welsh Champion has reignited again - excuse me while I start yawning!

    I seriously doubt that this proposal will go much further with the 2 remaining associations - mainly due to practicality, cost and interest!

    The title "Champion Band of Wales" was incorrect in the first place as only the bands from 2 of the 3 associations participated in this contest. How can you be a champion of a country when only 2 3rds participate - makes a mockery of it!

    The Welsh Regional council rightly said the Champion should be the band who wins at the Welsh Area and should get the invite to the European. Great, a competiton that is open to all the bands in Wales and stops the confusion as to who is the champion (unlike Boxing which can have several world champions for various organisations - are all as equal or valid - don't think so!)

    It's been a regular posting on here or 4BR about lack of entries in the South Wales League and 8 out of 15 or so bands from North Wales did not compete at the last North Wales contest so who would enter the Welsh League?

    As Bob Childs said, BAYV (and others like Tredegar and Beaumaris) compete in only a few but the most pestigious contests(e.g Open, Euros) and have busy concerts schedules so would probably not enter - they make more money doing concerts than contests.

    Bands from the North would be faced with the cost of travelling South 3 times a year, trebling the cost and getting nothing in return (well, let's face it, the prize money doesn't cover the cost of the bus driver let alone the bus, hotel, music etc. etc!)

    I know with the 3rd section band that I conduct, the £2000 that was raised at Christmas will be virtually wiped out to compete in Swansea - why should we have to go to even more effort to raise £6000 to go and compete 3 times a year and not get anything towards our cost - sorry, I forgot that we did get £150 towards our cost of going to Swansea from the Welsh Regional COuncil but this was just before the next regional!!! £150 would cover the bass section hotel rooms and not much else!

    If the SE wales assoc wanted to raise the profile of bands, then why not get them to enter the Eisteddfod every year - at least the expenses are covered for band or vcertainly very generous. Do people honestly expect bands from the South to travel North for the one contest or does the North COntest count as Aberystwyth?

    It strikes me that the two bands who have proposed this ideas are two who would benefit the most from the proposals. Probably not the best idea for a contest. Just imagine, no BAYV, Tredegar and Beaumaris and the bands from the north only competing in one contest and possibly Swansea - No wonder some bands want it back, especially with a European place at stake - it would be an easy way to get rid of most of your opposition!

    just makes me wonder if the Aston Hall in Wrexham, Prichard-Jones Hall in Bangor or the one in Aberystwyth became available for free, would the South Wales bands want to stump up to travel and compete??? I seriously doubt it. Maybe the Welsh Regional Council should look at alternative venues as at one meeting last year, I believe that Swansea council was asking what THEY get in return now for hosting the contest?

    The only reason why bands from the North travel to Swansea to compete is because WE HAVE TO if we want to stay in the same section or get promoted!

    Having 3/4 contests to call it a championship is mad - just because sports contest like the 6 nations or premiership calls it a championship does not mean that we should do it in banding - Do English Bands have to go through the same to become All England Masters Champion or win Spennymoor - NO!

  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ;) ... always a hotbed of discussion when it comes to banding in Wales! What's wrong in doing the simple thing ... using the area championships to decide the best band for Euro qualification? Scotland use this without complaint and run a 'band of the year' (for every section) based on an agreed choice of contests.
  5. SuperHorn

    SuperHorn Member

    This is why Wales is in a strong position, we can implement it whereas English bands can't.

    When Cwmaman attended the British Open / National Finals in 2004, all expenses were paid by the members themselves £240 in all was paid for accomodation and bus (no subs were given). This didnt include members petrol expenses for 4 weeks of constant rehearsal before the events. Banding is a very expensive hobby, one of which we all love otherwise we wouldn't do it week in week out.

    You should hear the proposal first and definitely it's not cast in stone or a done deal - if all assocations talk to each other we can thrash out to make all assocations happy with the new system. DONT GIVE THIS OPPORTUNITY UP JUST YET.

    We have nothing to gain - BAYV will still have to turn up to qualify for the European and will still win every contest. The only winner will be the audience and other bands listening to this top Welsh band.
  6. IanHeard

    IanHeard Member

    When I suggested a month or two ago, that the English should breakaway from the British National and hold its own regional qualifiers and English Final to decide its Euro representative and National Champion(s), I was told by some that the Welsh and Scottish areas were merely geograhical areas of Britain and were not per se a "National" contest to decide the Champion band of Scotland and Wales, it was merely a coincidence apparently!
    Now someone has suggested an eminently sensible and much missed way of doing things the Welsh "Area" is suddenly more than just an qualifier.

    I guess the issue for Wales is, do they organise their Contests for the benefit of true amateur bandspeople or to suit the budget requirements of the bands who pay their players.

    Would it help North Wales bands if they went back to the North West area?

  7. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    No it would not help North Wales bands going to Blackpool due to the following

    1. you would be representing the North West not Wales in the British National Championchips and therfore would not represent Wales in any future European.
    2. It is just as far for North Wales bands to go to Blackpool as it is to go to Swansea.

    What we are looking for is fair play for all .
  8. welshraz

    welshraz Member

    Isn't the choice of reducing the amount of contests also to do with sponsorship and the amounts given as prizes? As I have been led to understand, reducing the number of contests would leave the field open for better sponsorship (same sponsors over fewer contests rather than being stretched over the current amout) leading to better prizes and (hopefully) more bands attending (due to the better financial rewards). Please let me know if my info is incorrect.
  9. boover

    boover Member

    If we dont do anything banding will die out in Wales

    Can i just mention why this propsal was put forward in the first place. This year we have witnessed less and less bands in South Wales attending local contests because of various reasons. The Rhyl festival of brass has just announced that contest has been cancelled this year. There is little if no investment into Welsh brass band contests because they are not attractive events to be part of because of the dwindling entries and positive reasons for being there. The proposal was to start people talking to getting a series of contests in Wales that would attract ALL Welsh bands as well as investment from sponsors, trade stands etc etc. IT IS NOT SET IN STONE! THIS IS JUST A STARTING POSITION TO START PEOPLE TALKING!!

    Please dont Dam what is ment to be a fresh and positive move into getting the best for All bands in Wales without discussion. Lets move forward and not just say 'NO'. I welcome other suggestions because any move forward is a positive one.
  10. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

    It's rather noticeable that the replies to this thread from Wales tend to fall into two categories:

    1. Replies pointing out that travelling from North Wales to contests (including the area) in the Cardiff/Swansea area is very expensive and time consuming. Replies posted by people in North Wales bands.

    2. Replies asking everyone to allow the plans to be developed further before judging them. Replies from people in South Wales bands.

    There is a reason for this.

    Daniel (Northop Silver).
  11. jim

    jim Member

    Ok so you say the south wales bands dnt travell! well yes they do many travel evry year to contests such as pontins, Blackpool,Scotish Open, then the youth bands have to travel to the royal northan for the national youth championships, I meen ok these contests are not compulsory were as the areas are but the south bands do travel, The contests could be scatterd around wales there could be to up north and 2 down south with the areas rotating evry other year, the contest could be in diffrent formats and in venues accordingly,

    - One entertainment contest

    - One set test peice

    - One own choice

    - One elected test peice by the bands by ballot

    Rember if bands want to qulify for the europeans or become the champion band off wales the wont use there bye for a contest because a band can only qulify by going to all contests
    only ideas??
  12. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

    No, actually I did not imply that South Wales bands don't travel to contests. Of course they do. And I do know where Pointins is held!

    The point which sticks in the throat is that the AREAS are always in Swansea.

    If a Welsh Championship really was equally distributed between north and south, and the areas alternated or were at a mutually convenient location instead of one which is convenient for south and VERY inconvenient for north, there would be much more fairness and much less complaining!

  13. SuperHorn

    SuperHorn Member

    Right on brother:clap: :clap: :clap:
  14. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    The midlands Area is ALWAYS held in the North Midlands - its just the way it is, do you hear us moaning?
  15. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    but this league structure of 4 competitions is not new and fresh , it has already been tried and has failed , that is why you have just the area as the Euro and National qualifier.
    how many Welsh Bands are in Blackpool for the spring festival ? I would think 4 or 5 .How many at the Mineworkers 2 or 3? how many at the scottish open 2?not really representitive of bands in wales is it?
    what use is an entertainment competition for deciding a qualifying berth for the European , I think you are living in the good old days when there used to be a European entertainment competition as an after thought for the Euro weekend ( I think the last one might have been in 1992).
    Make it simple and financially viable for all bands throughout all sections.
    we have the bands , venues all over Wales to make something happen , lets have some consultation with bands up North before you decide that a 4 competition league is the way forward.
    Lets not lose any more bands due to the finacial strain of competitions.
  16. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    so you have to travel around 200 miles for the area? thats what all 15 North Wales bands have to do for the area.
  17. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    Thats exactly my point, lots of bands have large distances for the Areas, band from Norfolk who have to play at Stevenage, West of England bands, Scottish and yes North Wales.

    If our bandroom was 200 yards south we would be in the Southern Area and would play at Steveage - about half the distance
  18. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

    Yes, but you have ROADS in England.

  19. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    No, we have large tarmac carparks called motorways. It's a great day out for all the family on the M25 ! :biggrin:
  20. boover

    boover Member

    2 points to bring up Nick. 1. Contests all over wales are dwindling ( Rhyl festival of brass, Treorchy, Ammanford, Burry Port )....how you can possible say the current system is working for welsh banding is beond me ( move asside the European issue for a moment and think of the future of our contests ).

    2. Consultation is good....thats why a proposal was drawn up to be discussed at the other association meetings. I must point out again that this is not set in stone. I have heared many suggestions from people that could work ( e.g. Moving the area to Aberystwyth and using the Brangwen as the West wales contest was one ).......please please i say again, lets all talk about this.