Having gone to the RAH on Saturday to listen to some of the National Championship finals I was dismayed, whilst watching YBS, to see that the hall was only about 1/3rd full. What has happened to this contest, is the music (a cracking piece by all accounts!) or the location or what ? I have been 'harking on' to all my friends that would listen now for a few years with a suggestion for a change to Birminhgam. If you are not familiar with the ICC complex in Birmingham the building not only houses Symphony Hall but also Hall 10 (rather a grand name!!!). Hall 10 was built with the intention of being used for large-scale conferences and has a great acoustic (I performed there quite a few times whilst at college). It also seats around 1000 people. Why not move all the National Finals (Championship - Fourth) to Birmingham over one weekend utilising both Symphony Hall and Hall 10. The audience could buy 1 ticket allowing entry to all the sections, (or just individual ones for certain sections) and we could have a true 'festival of banding' in one venue just like it used to be in the days of Crystal Palace. Furthermore, with Birmingham, you have a venue in the middle of the country with a better infrastructure to get there, plenty of car parks within 20 minutes walking, no congestion charge and a whole stack of willing and eager hotels at less than £100 per night. The facilities at the ICC and in the close proximity are second to none whilst, at the RAH, the best on offer for less than a fiver is the burger van across the road. Furthermore there would be a great area within the venue for the trade exhibition for all sections to see. I see no reason to keep the contest at the RAH. People in the past have told me it is because of the audience capacity. I don't know how many people the RAH could seat (For all I know it could seat 10,000 people) but if it is not even 1/2 full why worry ? The acoustics are awful despite the mushrooms, the foyer and backstage areas cramped and in-efficient and, all-in-all, it doesn't make for a particularly friendly relaxed atmosphere. In this modern day and with what is widely regarded as the best Concert Hall in Europe in Symphony Hall why do we put up with second best with Harrogate and the RAH ? Am i being too radical here ? Is the tradition more important ? I don't know the answer but what I do know is that the audiences year-on-year at the RAH seem to be declining, we need to do something! I'm interested and intrigued to know what everybody thinks.