Another thinly veiled "pop" at the BFBB and its English National Contest! We all know this once great website is now dancing to the British Bandsman`s pro salvo/Kapitol Promotions tune, but come on guys! You would`nt mind if there was a substantiated quote from anyone...third rate journalism in my view! From 4barsrest- " It is understood by 4BR that a number of leading bands in England are wary that the European no longer offers the same opportunities to challenge the best bands in Europe in a contesting environment than it once did. Many are concerned that the long term future of the English National Championship which was launched in 2006, but has since seen its initial sponsorship end (although a new one has come on board), has complicated the qualification situation unnecessarily. The winners of the English National are currently the band nominated by the BFBB to represent England at the Europeans. "One contest too many" "We are worried that the English National is one major contest too many in what is already a crowded contesting diary,' one conductor told 4BR. "I know there were factors that meant that it was not a great success last year, but I wonder whether or not things have improved for this year and beyond. It seems to be a contest that no one really wants to be honest and that a number of the top bands would prefer to take their chances of possible European qualification through the Nationals or British Open." As one leading player added: "We already have enough contests to sort this out already. Why not get the British Open and National Champions to attend?" The question of finance is also one that is taxing the minds of the British in particular with rumours that at least one major band may well not attend the European in Stavanger. As that leading conductor told us: "If the top bands know that they are qualified for the Europeans a year in advance then the financial implications can be sorted out much better. It also gives the band an added incentive if they know who they are going to be up against and they could use that as a means to raise sponsorship themselves."