Butlins rip off

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Tubadale, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. Tubadale

    Tubadale Member

    If you are not staying on camp at Butlins, they are charging players £12 each to get in to the camp. This is a rip-off we are performing for Butlins, each band will have paid to play at the contest so why charge players to attend.

    If you happen to be a local band to the camp would Butlins charge you £360 for your band to get on camp on the day of the contest ?

    I also play bass guitar in rock & blues bands and have played at Butlins as part of the R&B weekend they run. I have never paid to get in when taking part in this.

    This year is the first year I will be playing at this contest so I contacted Butlins re this cost. I was told this is correct and I would have to pay £12 to get on camp, I explained the above (R&B weekend having no charge). The answer was, Butlins book the bands for the R&B weekend who they pay to perform, but in a Brass Band you are a competitor therefore you have to pay.

    This seems crazy to me, aren't we all performing for Butlins. When I play in my R&B band I get paid with real money, but we get in free. With a brass band who are amateur (non paid) I have to pay not only for my band to enter the contest, but also to get into the camp.

    What do people think :-?
  2. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Sorry I disagree. I don't think competing bands are entertainment in the same way as the booked acts. If you have been before you will know there is good entertainment laid on outside of the main band contests. Many major competitions make participating bands members pay to watch other competitors so Butlins is no different in this respect. You can also make full use of the butlins facilities such as the pool, cinema, various shows, etc.
    If you stay the full weekend with the meals thrown in then I think it is a bargain weekend break. The entertainment, accomodation and food is fantastic value - hence the popularity and the reason why there is a waiting list for bands to compete.
    In my opinion Butlins is the banding highlight of the year - even surpassing the Whits for enjoyment.
  3. Tubadale

    Tubadale Member

    I don't mind paying to get into the hall, as you do at the Open or the RAH if I was going to watch the other bands. This charge is a pay to play fee, none of us should have to pay to perform on stage.
    I am not staying on camp as I have family & friends who live near and I am staying with them. I intend to play then go, a thing quite a few players do. I have no interest in the entertainment Butlins are putting on.
    If you don't think we are entertainment, what are we ? Isn't that our primary function to "entertain"? when at a contest or at a contest.
  4. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    We could be classed as entertainment if the weekend was primarily a weekend for the general public and we were billed as part of the entertainment - but this is not really the case on this weekend. This is a rally - the brass band movement will be taking over the vast majority of the accomodation and facilities. If you let people in free just to play then go home then you would have to have ticket checks on all the bars, facilities, accommodation, etc. to ensure the people who have payed are being treated fairly. Butlins since its inception has always been "one fee to get in then everything is free". No matter how much moaning is done Butlins is not going to change that philosophy.
    My advice is to try and stay the weekend. If you are going to turn up, play for 12 minutes, then go home - then that turns the occasion into just another local contest. Butlins is far more than just that.
  5. I agree that you should not have to pay to get into the camp. That's rediculous! Does a pop group have to pay to get into the V Festival? I think not - that's a robbing scam!
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Very harsh words there, and the situations are not really comparable - try reading BigHorn's post above, where he makes some good points about the weekend. A comparison between the number of performers taking part at the V festival and the number of customers paying to see them would be very different to the Butlins setting, where the majority of those listening will also be taking part in some way or other.

    My (SA) band was recently involved in a Salvation Army event, with a range of activities taking place during the day, and we were expected to pay £10 for the privilege of taking part.
  7. Bones

    Bones Member

    Not a new discussion

  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    People seem to be forgetting that the £12 fee is not an entry fee for the contest, it's a day pass - and at £12 its discounted too. That pass allows you on campus all day, and gives you free entry to everything else on offer there including the evening's entertainment. If they didn't employ this arrangement they would have to be checking tickets at the entrance to every bar, club, swimming pool etc etc. Having actually been to the camp for the weekend (unlike some people posting in this thread I suspect) it's just not possible for some of the venues, and in any case why should Butlins change a system that works perfectly well for the other 51 weeks of the year, just to suit a few stroppy bandsmen who want to do no more than turn up, play and go home again?

    Its also worth pointing out that Butlins and NEMBBA spend a lot of time getting the organisiation of the contest right - and it shows. Butlins is without doubt one of the slickest run contests I've ever played at. There is also the small matter of the £50000 prize fund put up by Butlins. For that sort of money is it so unfair for them to expect something in return?

    For me its simple - buy a day pass at £12, or me and a couple of mates could get a warm, clean and dry chalet (unlike somewhere else!) for the weekend - Friday till Monday morning, have a great time meeting old friends, listening to some bands, and enjoying the decent entertainment for about 50 quid each. Its a no-brainer really.
  9. Mr Guinness

    Mr Guinness Member


    Some contests these days struggle to accomodate the social side of the movement - not Butlins!!

    Always a top weekend in my opinion. Worth every penny.
  10. Bones

    Bones Member

    Exactly my point in the same discussion held 4/5 years ago. Butlins are a commercial orgainsation who need to make money. They do so by charging, and if you go onto the camp any other time of the year you pay why not this weekend. They are also a listening organisation in that every year there has been improvements to the weekend. It is a great weekend in my opinion and needs to be supported by us, the movement. It is disappointing for the local bands that there is not the same benfit to be had by staying on camp, however, that couldbe same for any contest where a band has to pay for a coach etc to get to a contest miles away.

    I've been every year since it started I certainly would not consider not staying on site. I can;t see the point.

    Sorry, but on this one I cannot agree with the argument. And I am particularly concerned that inflammatory statements potentially put a risk around a major sponsor pulling out of the best weekend in the Banding calendar.
  11. bassmittens

    bassmittens Member

    £12 seems a lot for a contest - but from what i've heard it's more than 'just a contest' and it only costs 23p a week. So get an empty jam jar and save your coppers!:rolleyes:
  12. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Much better facilities than pontins, definitely worth staying on site. Are people really thinking that Butlins shouldn't make a profit. Do people want weekend's like this to continue, or should it just be only tiny contests in tiny venues with no facilities? (Not that there's anything wrong with small contests.)
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
  13. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Agree, this is the best event of the year. I'm going even though I;m not playing this year, and it's the one band event which a) Mrs Whatsharp will happily go to and b) Where we can take the kids and know they wont get bored! ( though we're leaving them home this year )

    TBH I wonder why we don't shift the contesting calendar and have the National finals at Butlins!
  14. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Well then here's a lesson in commercial reality. You're not the sort of customer they want, or indeed need to make the contest a commercially viable long term operation. Butlin's will make no money out of you at the bar, in the restaurant or in any of the accommodation and, in the end, probably don't give a monkey's whether you go or not. Why should they then allow you in, with the option (should you change your mind) to go to all the various entertainments on offer, or use the pool etc., for free?

    Here endeth the lesson, and I didn't even charge you 12 quid! ;)
  15. chiephonium

    chiephonium Member

    The bands who compete at the mineworkers contest are not performing for Butlins at all... They are using Butlins' facilites to be part of a competition... Butlins never asked for the contest to be held there so it makes sense for them to charge banders for the priveledge...

    Its like saying.. we want to use your camp for the weekend to host five brass band contests, but everyone who competes will get in for free... Mr Butlins would just say mmmm no thankyou...

    If your band is not happy about this then you should seriously consider not entering...
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2007
  16. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    I asked my (non-banding!) wife this morning if she fancied bringing the kids for 3 nights at Butlins in Skegness, in January, at a band contest and the steely glare she fixed me with gave me all the answer I needed. :eek:

    So the only people that will go to Butlins on that weekend will be the ones competing at or supporting the contest. Joe Public (as exemplified by my better half) will be positively discouraged by the prospect of the band contest being there. Ergo, we are not (as someone said earlier) "providing the entertainment" - we are availing ourselves of their facilities to put on a contest that benefits us (bands).
  17. Does the same thing happen at Pontins?

    When I've played there in the past, I've stayed on-site.
  18. chiephonium

    chiephonium Member


    if you stay on camp you have already paid to use ther facilites...

    if you only come for the day then you have to pay an entry fee...

    this is the same at both Butlins and Pontins
  19. Well, I can see it now - there was a lot of entartainment at Pontins

    Unfortunately none of it was for me! Oh well
  20. postie

    postie Member

    I am surprised your wife and kids didn't want to go with the excellent facilities she wouldn't even need to see a band play to have a very good time!!!!!!!

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