Its interesting to read all these new ideas about contests and also the realisation that perhaps a change in the contesting structure and formula is needed. At present (ignoring the European, and Spennymoor and Pontins) there is the Area, Masters, Open and National Finals. All these competitions are run by different individuals. Why doesnt all of them get together and have a contesting committee where all the contests become interlinked, then, possibly, we could have 4 major contests a year and the band that has won or had the best results on average throughout the year will become the true National Champions. Surely more there will be more prestige in being Champions that way. Perhaps these contests may also be located in different venues around Britain....for instance having the Scottish Open (like the new one), a Welsh Open, English Open and the National Finals in London (where the top 10 best results from the previous three contests) could play. Another point I would like to make is, why couldnt the above work for the lower sections as well. There will be a league basis for all sections and promotion and relegation will continue....and perhaps even a play off ??? Who knows. As for another gripe....how about cutting the sections down number wise and creating perhaps another section ? or even levelling the amount of bands in each section out...just look at the size of the Championship section in Yorkshire compared to the first section. A smaller section will allow longer compositions to be played (thinking of pieces such as Devil in the Deep Blue sea and Apocalypse or Concerto Grosso to be used more. Contests would run quicker, and perhaps there may even be a case for some of the contests to be on a 20 to 25 minute concert programme contests ala Spennymoor and formerly the Granada Band of the Year contests ? Those who then complain about audiences not turning up to contests will then have the opportunity to prove their point or not. Audiences might turn up if there is a mini concert contest and then the other contests during the year may stay the same or apply a different formula. The formula of contests has fluctuated very little from its origins. Why is that ? Surely its time for a radical rethink because as far as I can see contesting is basically a day for Bandsmen to play to Bandsmen who don't often listen themselves. Its time to try something different. What do you think?