Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by bassendworld, Jul 22, 2013.
Have I missed something
Are there no bands scheduled to play in St James Park this summer?
As far as I understand it the budget for band concerts in the Royal Parks was removed a couple of years ago.
I believe that bands were offered the opportunity to continue playing for no fee.
The result of this being predictable...
Terrible shame really.
Indeed that is a shame
It seems that most councils have withdrawn funding for this sort of event. In York, It was pulled a few years ago. However, collection licenses are approved for bands that still want to play. Our band have found that it's a great recruitment tool and still do a couple of concerts a year. I would have thought that if collections were allowed in London then it could be quite an earner?
Bournemouth Lower Park bandstand has also seen a decline in the number of brass bands playing there. The beauty of most bandstands though is that they are run by local councils and hence are subject to Freedom of Information requests. And I have sent an FOI into Bournemouth Council asking for the annual budget for the bandstand over the last 10 years, a list of every band that has performed in the bandstand over the last 10 years together with their fee. Should make for interesting reading once it gets back to me.
I'm sure they'll welcome that extra, important work item it this time of resource cuts and pressure - but if it makes your life interesting...
Eastbourne continues to have band concerts during the summer - in fact, from many years ago being a military band gig (apart from the then 2 local Eastbourne Bands appearing at Easter and Christmas), it is now dominated by brass bands. I'll be there tomorrow night for an 1812 with fireworks helping out my pals @MRSH and Brighton & Hove City Brass. Do pop down!
Eh? Don't be so cynical DRW, it's not about my personal interest. When the data arrives I will share it with our local association then ask for a meeting with the council tourist officer to see if we can turn this around and get more bands playing and get the council stumping up proper fees.
But for the record, I'm using the legislation in exactly the way it was intended to be used, to ask my local authority in which I pay council tax whether it has cut a service that I value. This is a council that wastes millions on consultants fees, a fact that only came to light thanks to the local paper putting in an FOI request. Or how about the great Imax scandal that cost our town £7.5 million. Again, the figure was ascertained by the local paper sending in an FOI request.
Eastbourne bandstand is a pretty impressive bandstand/arena and always seems busy. We go down that way on holiday every year, and usually call by the bandstand.
Eastbourne is another bandstand that has suffered from budget cuts, which is why they can't/won't pay for so many military bands there now - but at least the local bands have benefitted!
We will be appearing at Bournemouth for a 10th successive year in a couple of weeks and always found the council very helpful and upfront, they have always paid a fee that we can work with. I guess for us though it is a weekend away for the band which we enjoy and we don't see it quite as a serious money making exercise.
Dont forget of course that the stage is not just for brass bands there are lots of other musical genres that wish to use it and also the public may wish to enjoy a variety of different genres. So that is why its perhaps not packed out with Brass Bands.
From my days in the public sector FOI requests can be useful but they are just a fact finding mission and the council will just quote you facts.
If you think the Budget for the bandstand usage is not high enough thats a different question and good luck with that one, the council will undoubtedly claim it is acting democratically when allocating its resources priority.
MD Marlow Band
Indeed we have ! It is fair to say though that the removal of the army bands happened some years ago due to their increased fees and not due to the current financial crisis. They have their own website too http://www.eastbournebandstand.co.uk/ and are maintaining a full programme of varied events in addition to bands this year.
I was walking through Embankment Gardens, London, a couple of weeks ago - used to play there in my army days a week at a time. Now it has very small ensembles and street theatre. The father of one of our members used to take tourist pictures there with his pet parrot! Times have changed!
Great that Marlow enjoy coming down here for a weekend but I have heard lots of grumbles from local bands regarding the operation of the bandstand. Parking has been restricted, there's no longer any dressing rooms, they don't publicise which band is playing when properly and they have cut back on several regular appearances by local bands. For example, Boscombe Salvation Army band has been playing on a Friday night for the whole summer ever since I can remember and doing it for free. But this year they've been cut back to just a few nights on a Thursday.
Also, the council have just banned amplified music being played on the bandstand due to noise complaints (!) so this is an opportunity to get in there and see more brass bands perform on what is a very good bandstand with good audiences if run properly.
Agreed there are less facilities available for parking and changing from previous years, imho these though don't detract for us too much (mind you a first this year is the need for H&S risk assessment for parking our van there!)
Presumably we still have a mic to compere?
I am saddened to hear Boscombe SA are no longer playing friday nights, we have asprinkling of SA guys in our band and they always looked forward to that.
Do Bournemouth band still perform for a whole week in August?
Yes, bands are allowed to use the council's PA system incorporated into the bandstand (although I bet the residents who have just moved into the new block of flats opposite the bandstand will complain about that next!).
Bournemouth's appearances were cut back a few years ago (together with their fee I understand). I think they only do three days now with limited performances?
Trouble is I hear snippets from mates in many local bands so have requested an FOI to get the full facts.
I guess it all depends what you want from your performance isn't it. Can only suggest working with the Council must best way forward.
I well remember Rhyl Bandstand had a BB concert everynight during summer season, in the 50's+60s . Usually the Town Band conducted by a Mr.Reg Little.
They included various entertaining competitions such as the best Conductor ( from the Audience )..Kids singing contents etc, all within their programmes. Needless to say the concerts were very well attended.
The prizes weren't much but that didn't seem to matter. Personally, I don't know how they managed to get all the players, but they seemed to manage it...incredible.
Does anyone know if they still have concerts there or even if the bandstand is still standing ? I know there are still the odd concerts in Morecambe and New Brighton , but these are usually at weekends during the summer and take place in the parks..
Scotland still has it's fair share of bandstand concerts, St Andrew's in Fife host a 2 hour concert every Sunday right next to the Royal & Ancient Golf Headquarters throughout the summer and at Tullis Russell we have been fortunate to have our Senior Band and out Intermediate Band booked to do different Sundays, the St Andrews concerts are put on by the local community Council who apply for council and lottery funding to pay the bands and they also walk about with collection buckets as the bands are playing.
Dundee also host a series of Bandstand concerts throughout the summer at 3 different venues and although only an hour concert if it's dry you normally get a good crowd out to listen. Fife Council put on a couple of bandstand concerts in the Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy throughout summer so it's not all doom and gloom on the east cost of Scotland at least
We spent a day in Easbourne a couple of years ago. Never been before, but the Bandstand was absolutely amazing. In all my years of banding I had never seen one as excellent as this ~ Shame there wasn't a band on that day !
~ Mr Wilx
Ha Ha. I'm sure you'd find it equally impressive with a band in it. Possibly more so if they were playing......
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