Lower Section Finals - New Venue

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by YRBBC, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. YRBBC

    YRBBC Member

    Thought someone would have picked up on this by now - in latest BBW magazine and on Nationals website.

    Will Paddy be using his Tik Tak man ?

  2. timbo100

    timbo100 New Member

    Courtesy of www.nationalbrassbandchampionships.com.

    The move by Kapitol Promotions Ltd., which presents the National Championships, follows a significant price increase by Harrogate International Centre, as well as a lack of suitable dates offered for the event. The Lower Section Finals will now take place on 24 and 25 September at the Centaur.
    Said Philip Morris of Kapitol: “Not only did the price increase unexpectedly and substantially without warning, but the management team at Harrogate International Centre informed us that we would have to move the event to October, which would have left just one weekend between the Lower Section Finals and the Championship Section Final at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Kapitol believed that this would have placed too much pressure on bands and supporters with busy lives, who may wish to attend both events.
    “Therefore, after an extensive search, we revisited Cheltenham Racecourse’s Centaur venue, which we had considered some six years ago for another event. It’s in the centre of Britain and has all the facilities that the Lower Section Finals needs including plenty of coach parking immediately opposite the main entrance, disabled access, changing and warm-up rooms, space for exhibitors, bars, restaurants and, most importantly, a great auditorium with a versatile staging system and suitable acoustics.”
    The Centaur is Cheltenham Racecourse’s flagship venue with a 2,250 capacity and 2,600 sq. metres of flexible space. It also houses a state-of-the-art mother grid to provide advanced lighting and is linked to the Grandstand Rooms by the Hall of Fame, which has been earmarked by Kaptiol to host the trade exhibition at the forthcoming Finals. Immediately adjacent to the Hall of Fame are suitable changing and warm-up rooms for bands.
    Said Philip Morris: “Sometimes, even though we might not want change, it’s good because it makes us re-examine the way in which we do things. We’re therefore, looking forward to relocating the Lower Section Finals. Cheltenham is a fabulous venue in a famous setting, and the management team there is very friendly and experienced at hosting major music events like Jools Holland, Kiri Te Kanawa and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.”
  3. davethehorny

    davethehorny Member

    The Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse - wow - this venue is huge!! Seats up to 2500 people.

    Parking is great and free and there are lots of bars and rooms available.

    I am surprised at the change of venue though - amazingly this is the first that I have heard of it and as Secretary of the Gloucestershire Brass Band Association I would have expected this news to have filtered through to us before now.

    Let's hope that some people haven't already booked hotel rooms in Harrogate.

    At least I can guarantee being there (playing as well as spectating would be a nice bonus) and not having to pay for a hotel for once :)

    Gloucestershire looks forward to welcoming the brass band world!!
  4. winterman

    winterman Member

    Ooh, hadn't seen that! Shame, I enjoy my local day out to Harrogate each year :(

    However, Centaur in Cheltenham? Hmm.. That should prove an interesting venue, in good and bad ways. It's part of the Racecourse complex (plenty of bars and potentially an overwhelming amount of excellent rehearsal venues on site) which in itself is a stunning complex.

    I used to be Stage Security at the Greenbelt Festival held there in August every year and Centaur is one of the main indoor venues. I've heard everything from Death Metal to Folk and choirs/orchestras in there and think that unless full it will be exceptionally "boomy", but when even half full really impressive!

    Oodles of free parking on-site, excellent transport links, but I'm not sure local hotel accommodation will be easy to find!
  5. davethehorny

    davethehorny Member

    Hotels will not be a problem - Gloucester & Tewkesbury less than 30 minutes and Worcester & Bristol both less than 45 minutes from Cheltenham.

    As Cheltenham is not a major conference venue prices should be better too.

    This announcement might catch out the booking companies that pre-book all the hotel accomodation and then try to sell it to bands at inflated prices.
  6. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    Here's hoping!
  7. winterman

    winterman Member

    And that makes me very happy.. Those money grabbing, robbing, <beeeeeep>!

    I have to say I love Cheltenham Racecourse as a venue, may even have to try and make it down anyway, the train link is also excellent, one stop after Birmingham New Street heading south on the Express).

    They could even arrange for a couple of bands to play for the Steam Railway attached to the complex! ;)

    Wonder if I can find any of my old tent pegs from the middle of the racetrack! ;)
  8. astreet83

    astreet83 Member

    Not only is this a great venue, but Cheltenham its self is a lovely town (Lived there for 3years) plently of pubs/clubs all within walking distance.

    I'm pretty sure there will be enough beds to sleep of bandperson as when the racers are on there are thousands of people there all staying local!!!

    A good move....makes it more interesting for all
  9. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    Should be a great move...but the bit about Cheltenham being in 'the centre of Britain' is a bit far -fetched. Perhaps if you include the Irish Republic and out to the Fastnet Rock!
  10. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    I would certainly suggest that it's nearer the centre than Harrogate (when factoring in the number of bands travelling from each area of the country)
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I'm sure they said the same thing about Harrogate - and the two venues are 185 miles apart!

    Good news for bands from the far end of Cornwall - journey drops from 400 miles / 7 hours to 220 miles / 4 hours.

    Bad news for bands from Aberdeen - journey increases from 330 miles / 6.5 hours to 470 miles / 8.5 hours. Don't think there are any contesting bands further North than Aberdeen, though there's a lot of Scotland further up there...

    Timewise, I think Harrogate was probably closer to the mark as a central location. The best theoretical location I think would be somewhere just off the M6 between Manchester and Liverpool - pretty equal travel times and distances for bands from the furthest corners of the country (350 miles / 6-6.5 hours) - the Western North-South Motorway corridor is more efficient to get to and travel along than the Eastern one from most places - and it's in an area with a strong brass banding tradition. Anyone think of any venues that fit that bill?

    But it's good news for me - I shall probably drop by given that it's so close...
  12. astreet83

    astreet83 Member

    Is there more than one room for sections to run at this venue, sorry never seen it.

    Just wondered if they would be running different sections during the day instead of after eachother. Might help 3rd section on sunday (finishing late!!!)
  13. This room is going to look really empty wit the audiences that some of the Lower Sections get.

    I assume that Bandsman will still have to pay for tickets meaning that there will be hardly anyone in the hall?
  14. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    Just for the record....
    The accepted geographical centre of the British Isles in their entirety is the little village of Dunsop Bridge in the Trough of Bowland, not far from Clitheroe in Lancashire. It even has a specially inscribed red telephone box on the spot to mark it (or at least it used to have..not sure if it's still there).
    Distance from Dunsop Bridge to Harrogate - 46 miles
    Dunsop Bridge to Cheltenham - 164 miles
  15. JR

    JR Member

    from one spa to another...

    At least the Yorkshire bands will have first pick!

    R I P Harrogate's driest, unsuitable, scariest-ever acoustics and astronomical refreshment rip offs!

    John R
  16. winterman

    winterman Member

    Actually it'll be the North West on 27th February..
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Meriden, near Coventry, I've heard cited similarly... I wonder how the two answers were calculated?
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    And also Scotland
  19. JR

    JR Member


    OOps - Correct! - I'd forgotten it's so close this year!

  20. winterman

    winterman Member

    That's great news for our friends in the North then, at least they have a fighting chance at decent on the doorstep accommodation at a reasonable price! :clap: