Summer Audiences

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassneck, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Time for this topic to appear! Most bands are now in full swing regarding outdoor concerts and events such as gala days and pre-booked Summer concerts. How are the public responding to the sound of brass bands in the air? Are they coming to the park greens or bandstands in droves such was the case in years gone by or is it now a fleeting glance then off to something else? Are open-air discos taking over the traditional concerts in your area or is tradition being respected and maintained by the local authorities and townsfolk?
  2. nickjones

    nickjones Active Member

    We have been pretty busy over the summer so far ,our concert tour of Norway was fantastic and well received , audiences have really enjoyed the Castle Square jobs we have played at over the summer you have a few different artists and musicians, sell out summer concert at the Canolfan Beaumaris , and our concert with Cor Penrhyn was sold out too ( pretty good considering you had YBS and the "Hogsnorton All Stars" in North Wales all on the same night ) , and our concert at the Moelfre Music festival last night, Just a couple more jobs for the summer and then we start on the Autumn / winter programs :) ,
  3. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    We had our first of two summer jobs in our local bandstand yesterday. Despite very heavy rain earlier in the day, we still had quite a few people coming to listen. Not as many (around 30 or 40 I suppose) as in previous years when we have had several hundred, but like I say, there had been heavy rain, and I was very surprised that there was an audience there at all!

    I think it helps that there is a band playing there every weekend throughout the summer - the audience was probably made up of hard-core regulars!


    IYOUNG Member

    Good question this one and one we were only discussing at last weeks band steering group meeting,

    Our main 3 summer engagements focus on the Rowing Regattas at Marlow, Eton and Royal Henley.

    We have noticed audiences considerably up at Eton and Royal Henley this year with some real interest in the band (resulting in 3 more engagements direct from people who heard us play and some youngsters interested in joining our training band).

    Interestingly enough though at what you would call our local event at Marlow Regatta the audience although as large as ever was definitely side tracked by the other attractions mainly the beer tent.
    We have given some feedback to the organisors on this point (most important in our book) so will be interesting to see their response.

    Generally we look for engagements where the band is the main feature, the days of sitting in a field competing with dozens of other attractions are long gone in our book.

  5. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    That's all very well if you can get that sort of engagement. The vast majority of our engagements are village fetes etc where we are competing with the beer tent / karaoke and other things.

    A couple of weeks ago we spent a Saturday evening at the charmingly named "Stanford Dingley Sheep Races", where we were providing the entertainment between each race. We were virtually on the other side of the field to everybody else, and I don't think many people were that interested in us (other than to provide a background) but it was a really good evening nevertheless. (Helped no doubt by the hogroast and the excellent beer from the micro-brewery in the next village!). We got paid handsomely for the pleasure too!

    Keep 'em coming, I say. :tup

  6. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    Certainly some councils are cutting back on bandstand jobs.

    We were in Cheltenham on Saturday (quite a decent audience, as it wasn't raining - also quite close to a new children's playground, so parents watched...).

    Its seems the council are only having each band play once this year - last year there were 3 jobs there in different parks / public spaces for the band.

    Leamington next w/e - so hoping for a sunnier day....


    IYOUNG Member

    The type of summer engagements bands do is obvioulsy a choice for themselves and I accept that some bands like the small fete type affairs and the £££ they bring in.

    However I firmly beleive the well paid quality jobs are out there but you have to market yourselves and go and get them rather than wait to be asked.

    I also suspect that good jobs bring further good jobs if you perform well. just this past week we have picked up a new concert venue as a direct result of a recent performance elsewhere.

    Also I know if I asked my band to turn out for say 10 fete jobs at £200 instead of say 4 good ones at £500 I know we would all choose.

  8. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    We're in a fortunate position that we have managed to replace most of the "village fete" type jobs with jobs and concerts where people are actually coming out to listen to the band play. The bandstand jobs we do now are all "good" ones (ie they usually get a decent audience) and I would say that the levels are either the same or slightly up on last year. We did a VE day concert at a local park bandstand a month or so ago and despite very changable weather there were quite a few there - and they mostly stayed around even when it rained.

    Hmm we always used to do the Warwickshire parks too. Although we haven't been booked there for a number of years now. It used to alternate between Leamington and Kenilworth. I remember one year the whole band drove 30 odd miles each way in the driving rain to be told "its off due to the weather", due to our contractual obligations...

    As I remember, wasn't it somehow tied to going to Leamington contest??
  9. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Putting my Devils Advocate hat on now....

    But surely the whole point of playing in a band is to do performances?

    I was discussing this with a colleague who plays in an orchestra only a couple of days ago. Now there are so many inexpensive CDs around, why do people pay good money to hear a village band / amateur orchestra play the same music that they can hear played (often much better) by a top class band / orchestra from the comfort of their own sofa?

    Hat off again....

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2005
  10. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Why indeed? Maybe they want to support a local community group or perhaps they (our audience) all realise that listening to a CD is a lot less emotionally involving than hearing the performance live. There really isn't any substitute for good music. Whatever reason most of the concerts we do have a reasonable level of attendance, from people who seem to want to engage themselves in a live concert.
  11. IYOUNG

    IYOUNG Member

    It is but the quality and number are also a very important factor. Each band will be different according to their needs (people and finances).
    Performance at any cost (money and time) is not necessarily the way to get the best out of your banding.

    It is essential that the band administration know what the band in question wants and needs. As I say not everyone will be the same.


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