Harrogate - what's it like

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Addarb, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Addarb

    Addarb New Member

    I feel so fortunate to be going to Harrogate this yea for the first time. Can anyone give any tips about where to go, what pubs are good, what's the place like where the contest is, any do's and don'ts etc?

    Cheers Addie
  2. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Don't go to the bar called "Number 19". You will get drawn last. Do go to Wetherspoons. Don't go to the tea shop.
  3. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I really like Harrogate and would make every effort to get your hotel booked there ASAP so you don't have to stay in Leeds or some other nearby town.
  4. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    :clap: Very sound advice! When we went last year we weren't even one of the last areas but all the nice hotels were booked out by the time we qualified. We ended up at the Queens in Leeds which was a lovely Oasis is a city we came to know as "Basra with Beer"! Just as well the hotel was so lovely cos we ended up staying in the hotel bar on saturday night after a little jaunt to the local hostelries, where we were somewhat freaked by the heavy armed poilce presence!!! :eek:

    God only knows what'll happen to the band who qualify from here (Scotland) and the London and Southern Counties this year.......:dunno
  5. winterman

    winterman Member

    It has always struck me as a bit strange that the Regional Committees/Kapitol don't take a hand in organising this.

    Each year they know exactly how many bands will be attending Harrogate from each section and could quite easily do the provisional booking of enough hotels for at least the band plus a nominal number of supporters at almost no cost (OK, they may have to pay the deposit up front but I am sure the bands would be more than happy to pay that back once they have qualified and are able to get a reasonably priced, guaranteed, accommodation).

    Surely that has to be a better option than the chaotic free for all that happens each year (especially for the later regional contests). Especially in the light of that dubious booking agent who for the last few years has block booked every hotel and then passed them on at exorbitant prices, claiming to be doing the banding world a favour.

    For bands looking for accommodation check out http://www.activehotels.com/ a brilliant service.
  6. Kat-SSB

    Kat-SSB Member

    If your a band on a budget I would also try to avoid booking through the agent. We managed to book directly with The Crown in the centre of Harrogate rather than the other way and saved a lot of money they were very helpful and accommodating.
  7. bbg

    bbg Member

    The year before last, we booked a hotel in Huddersfield immediately after qualifying - all Harrogate area hotels were already fully booked as we were one of the last contests. About a 45 minute trip up to Harrogate on the Saturday morning so not too bad.
    Venue itself is interesting to say the least - avoid the cafe unless you have remortgaged first! - changing / warm up was chaotic as it's a fair hike from the drop-off point ( a long carry for basses ...awww) and unless you have a well trained coach driver who can magically reappear at the door at minute's notice, there's no instrument storage after playing.
    Apart from all that - enjoy!!
  8. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    We stayed at the hotel adjoining the venue last year - expensive, but was excellent in terms of not having to worry about coaches and dropping off etc.
  9. euphsrock

    euphsrock Member

    Don't go to Subway!
    It will be rammed and you'll have to wait nearly an hour to get anything.
    One of those situations where you've been queuing so long that you don't want to give up. Lol.
    Also, there's much better places to buy food.
    It seemed to me that even though the same thing happens every year, the town is always surprised by the sudden surge of people wanting food, accommodation and drink!
    You'd think they'd learn really.
  10. Chris Hicks

    Chris Hicks Member

    The hall will most likely seem very empty when your playing!
  11. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Everytime we miss out of qualifing, I always say:
    Didn't want to go to Harrogate anyway!!
    Stayed there one weekend and it took us half a day find a decent pub as its is saturated with tearooms.
    Ok if you are a ponsy tenor horn player who like there afternoon tea and clotted cream scones but us bass players want a pint and its got to be a good.:biggrin:
  12. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    go to the Wetherspoons.

    you will love the view of an evening :D

    the hall is a nightmare (very dry acoustic - it's a nightmare listening to tuning etc), but then again it's comparatively cheap to rent the place for the weekend. Get your hotel bookings in NOW because they will be filled very quickly.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  13. ratpit

    ratpit Member

    Harrogate is posh!
  14. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    Oh yeah, the hall... you probably won't be able to hear the person next to you, never mind the other side of the band.
  15. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    Yeah! The hall sucks!!!
  16. tojo

    tojo Member

    i quite like it :biggrin:
  17. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Me too, but then the only time I've played there (with Middleton) we won :biggrin:

    Wetherspoons is OK and rammed with banders from lunchtime onwards. Same goes for the pub across the road from the hall, can't remember what it's called. There's a good Indian up the hill from the hall in what looks like a converted church.

    Don't go in Betty's, it's the biggest rip-off going, and they don't serve bitter ;)
  18. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    I wasn't paying much attention to the banders in all fairness.....
  19. Hall is different. Expect to just look out to a sea of empty chairs which is rather strange feeling as it's such a huge place.

    Warm up rooms are not good and such a long way from the stage. I wouldn't leave anything in there that is valuable. Also, we made the mistake of lugging all the instruments off the bus, letting the bus driver go and find somewhere to park and finding out we were band 13! There are no storage facilities and organisers weren't keen on finding us anywhere to go.

    Bring something to do, especially if you get a late draw - there are only so many times you can walk round the trade stands.

    Pizza hut is about a 5 minute walk (up a hill, heading for Betty's Tearoom) and it was ok, just a bit busy. For those who like an alcoholic beverage, we didn't leave the hall and used the bar there (for those who were there you may remember one of our band members dressing up as an old washer lady and entertaining us all) but, it isn't that cheap. I think most banders had worked that out as it wasn't overally busy.

    Generally, it was a fantastic experience! :D
  20. tubbytuba

    tubbytuba Member

    Played there a couple of years ago (Imperium 3rd section) Thought the hall was great and the acoustic,also good practice rooms although a little distant from the hall.Cant wait to get back there this year in the 2nd section finals!!!

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