Has Butlins grown too big for its own good

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by BigHorn, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    I suspect the 2010 Butlins Competition will be even bigger than 2009 with more bands competing and more people packing the entertainment venues and restaurants.
    Although 2009 was still good I think the competition was well over-subscribed.

    The introduction of the youth competition and the increased number of bands allowed to enter (in one section requring split leg competions with play-offs) seemed to have overwhelmed the facilities. We couldn't get rehearsal facilities on-site, we failed to get to eat in any of the restaurants and the entertainment venues were so full that the top bands had either to be over amplified or not heard.

    I also think the failure to provide some non-brass entertainment also detracted from the weekend. I was completely 'brassed-off' come monday morning.

    I have been to Butlins since the competion started there and it used to be so special. It seemed a little flat last year in comparison.

    Any thoughts ?
     
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  3. Dago

    Dago Member

    Some good observations and I'm sure many people share your views? Unfortunately, the desire to 'empire build' has, and is resulting in a negative effect on an otherwise worthwhile venture. The mammoth 1st section last year was a step backwards and in no way benefitted the competing bands. The large entries in each section are unmanageable and result in a very long day for bands drawn late in the contest. Added to this are the questionnable venues that bands are asked to perform in.

    As you rightly point out, rehearsal facilities are at a premium and difficult to obtain. I know that some bands have had to rehearse at ridiculous hours if rehearsing on the site and there seems to be no planning by management to solve this either on or off site.

    Personally, I don't care about the 'entertainment' as I never stay at the 'camp' anyway, but can appreciate that non-stop banding is going for over-kill.

    There is a need for the organisers re-focus on the welfare of the bands and give them a worthwhile experience, both in terms of the competition and the weekend as a whole. Many bands have tried the Butlins experience and have not returned! Perhaps the old adage that "the customer is always right" needs to be remembered?
     
  4. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    The sections have been limited for next year so thats not going to happen again.
    Seems like they ARE trying to do things to fix the issues after all ;)
     
  5. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    The sections are to large and for a section to be split is not good at all with it going to a play off final.
    The so called organisers need to think about this very carefully ;
    When the results are given there are far to many people crammed into The Reds room and why cant they give the results out after the bands have played as with the amount of people who are crammed into that room sholud ever a fire break out in that room then it might be such a good contest afterall SAFETY must be taken into consideration as well.
    I think its a question of GREED and more wants more than anything.
    With bands struggling to get rehearsal facilities and at such crazy hours at night is no joke.
    I know of several bands who have gone and have said it is not worth the trouble going to this contest again until sections are of a manageable size,the results are given out at the end of the sections not have to wait for 2 hrs for them and been given out all in the same room.
    Organisers need to set a maxium of 16- 20 bands per section and draw up a reserve list if any bands drop out/withdraw from the contest,im sure this would be far better than what one section eneded up like last year with a play off!!!
     
  6. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Try reading what's gone before.....
    And the reason I know this? Because we're on the reserve list!
     
  7. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    Im just putting MY POINT across !!!! as well like everyone else as done
     
  8. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    It wasn't a 'point' it was a 'fact' and it was already taken care of - as pointed out my Alex ;)
     
  9. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Really? :eek::eek:

    How long ago did you put your entry in?
     
  10. Di B

    Di B Member

    We only got accepted late - think someone in the first section withdrew. Not sure how many bands are competing though.

    I think the entertainment will be great this year - but I am biased! Lol!

    I do agree that maybe some entertainment other than brass bands could be offered but you do have the middle bar and sun and moon and jaks if you want to chat instead.
    Some of the non band entertainment has also been pretty dire in the past! Abba tribute anybody?
     
  11. midlandbass

    midlandbass Member

    I do agree that maybe some entertainment other than brass bands could be offered but you do have the middle bar and sun and moon and jaks if you want to chat instead.
    Some of the non band entertainment has also been pretty dire in the past! Abba tribute anybody?[/quote]

    DI - you know you wont see me in Jaks LMAO!!!
    But seriously i dont think splitting the 1st section worked last year but that seems to have been sorted for next year.
    I quite like the results in the evening, it makes it a bit different from the usual and at least they have tried something. I do take the point about the safety issues, but i feel this is not the organisers issue, it should be down to Butlins to manage.

    Looking forward to another long weekend of banding......

    :D:D
     
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  13. Goldie Horn

    Goldie Horn Member

    It's still the best banding weekend

    Lets be happy we're having this conversation rather than moaning banding is in decline and falling flat on its face.

    There is the spa at the Butlins at Skegness, I'm thinking of booking myself in for a nice massage at the end of a long day of banding :tongue:
     
  14. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Totally agree. Having done 2 Butlins now, for me it's one of the few really positive things happening in banding at the moment. For those moaning that there's no "non-brass" entertainment - they advertise it as a "brass band" weekend. What the heck do you expect?

    In any case I seem to remember there was a live rock band in Stage Centre later on the Saturday night this year? Or was that last year? It's all a bit hazy...:guiness
     
  15. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Wadda-ya-mean they were brilliant - you have to take into acount that the brunette was eight months pregnant. They were still better entertainment value than some of the 'star' (rent-a-band) bands last year though - and at least you could hear them.

    To be fair there has been some excellent non-brass band entertainment in the past Dennis Rollins, National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Royal Marines Core of drums were really class acts - even Bucks Fizz and the Kylie tribute were very good. But its not just the quality that was important it was just the change of genre that was needed.
     
  16. Oodle Bugler

    Oodle Bugler Member

    I feel sorry for Frank and the organising team who do a massive job over the course of the year and, of course, the weekend itself. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't. Now we're whinging about a brass band contest possibly becoming too popular?...

    The splitting of the first section into two tiers last year was probably the only way they could avoid disappointing so many of the bands who wanted to enter. All of the first section bands were informed of the arrangement beforehand and still turned up to compete. What happens after the results? Complaints on tMP about the two tier system led by bands who had willingly turned up to compete in that format and hadn't had the result they felt they deserved.

    There were other ill-advised comments on this forum after last year's event suggesting the first section was over-subscribed deliberately because the organisers were in league with Butlins to fill as many chalets as possible. Of course Butlins want chalets filling, that's the nature of the beast and one of the reasons for much of their assistance and support.

    There are too many in this movement who snipe and moan at the few who put in a massive amount of their own time to pull off weekends like this. The organisers of events like this never have any chance of getting everything right and pleasing everyone over the whole weekend. A case in point, its a brass band weekend, but on Saturday night do we all want to listen to a brass band in concert or something different? Again, whatever they decide, they will never please everyone. (Thanks for the ABBA tribute band, but they were a bit naff - thank God I was able to walk in free of charge....)

    Either go in a positive frame of mind because you want to be there and accept it, warts and all, or stay at home.

    Personally I think its a great weekend and a great advert for brass banding at all levels, as well as one of the best run contests (bearing in mind all sections, including youth, are covered).
     
  17. Dago

    Dago Member

    Thanks for that clarification Stan!!
     
  18. Di B

    Di B Member

    DI - you know you wont see me in Jaks LMAO!!!
    But seriously i dont think splitting the 1st section worked last year but that seems to have been sorted for next year.
    I quite like the results in the evening, it makes it a bit different from the usual and at least they have tried something. I do take the point about the safety issues, but i feel this is not the organisers issue, it should be down to Butlins to manage.

    Looking forward to another long weekend of banding......

    :D:D[/QUOTE]

    If I remember correctly you ARE the entertainment in jaks :)

    I like Butlins. The one thing they have got right is having all levels of bands playing on the same day. You get to meet up with friends throughout all sections.

    Areas don't provide this anymore and few other contests do (smaller contests do get away with it.)

    I think its fantastic that a kid in the youth band can go and listen in awe to the top section on the same day - and vice versa!
     
  19. Mr_Euniverse

    Mr_Euniverse Member

    I think having play-offs is a bad idea too.

    Contesting is still a great social weekend for band members to have relaxation time after weeks of working up their testpieces. And to be drawn 1 and then have to put the bar on hold on the off-chance of getting through, then to find you haven't got through and therefore wasted lots of valuable drinking time!
    A possible solution? Why not put the "play-off" on the Sunday. Can still have a drink after you played but you adapt your socializing depending on whether you're successful. I.e. Bands in play-off will get up early and "reasonably" fresh, bands who didn't get a lie-in to nurse hangovers.
     
  20. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Don't get me wrong I have nothing but praise for the organisers and its still the highlight of my and many other's banding year. If I was to accuse the organisers of anything it would only be that they are trying a bit too hard to please too many people. I think they had it spot on the first three years.

    I wasn't aware that changes had been made for next years competition - so obviously they are listening.
     
  21. Kinrao

    Kinrao Member

    If an event of this size continues to grow both in terms of presence and prize money, isn't that a good thing for the movement?

    It's our first year at the contest and I've found the organisers to be most helpful, particularly Brian Eggleshaw.

    If bands have ideas on improvement then they should collect them and send them off to Brian to share with the team.

    Really looking forward to the weekend!
     
  22. Eb master

    Eb master Member

    Mate your gonna love it! Bands beer beer beer bands beer beer. What else can i say! Everyone who is whinging chill out for christs sake.
     

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