Watching with interest the line up of band for the forthcoming Wychavon Contest being reduced by withdrawals, I began to wonder what is the best way for organisers to minimize bands dropping out less than two weeks before the contest takes place. Wychavon problems are made worse by the pre-draw that takes place with bands being allocated a performance time a month before the contest. A band withdrawing then puts a gap in the timings or the organisers have to shuffle other band timings forward or backwards. As a contest organiser myself, I wondered what ideas fellow TMP'ers had to help us reduce the drop out rate. I can only think of charging a much higher entry fee, part of which would be refunded to bands that actually take to the stage for the contest e.g £150 entry fee but with £100 refunded at the draw. For me there is nothing worse than preparing for a contest, setting timings, printing programs and then the week before the contest taking a batch of phone calls or e-mails from bands secretaries saying that they won't be coming. Bands dropping out also reduce the takings on the door from band supporters, which in turn can place in doubt the financial viability of the contest itself. The money raised from supporters of bands paying to watch is often more than the entry fee bands pay to compete. Assuming every band brings 10 supporters who pay £5 each to watch, five bands dropping out could cost the organisers £250 and suddenly the contest may struggle to break even or even lose money. Also the audience that is paying to watch the proceedings may have seen the advertised line up but not know that some bands that they have come to watch have withdrawn. Any ideas/suggestions will be very welcome.