As someone who has their phone number on their band's website for enquires, I have noticed that the number of bodies wanting to hire bands in the North East is the same or even increased, but the number of bands available and taking on jobs has decreased. Often the phone call starts "We used to use such-a-band but they are no-more/unavailable/too-busy to do it." Some weekends we could be out in 2 or 3 places if it were possible this year. So the demand for brass bands is still there, but the number of bands that are no longer able to fulfil engagements (certainly in this area at least) has declined. I'm guessing this is a combination of the obvious really - less bands, less bands able to consistantly turn out enough players and less bands actively taking on concerts (being funded from sponsorships, fund-rasising etc.) I just wonder if this is the same situation elsewhere in the brass banding planet? Also is there a niche now? Due to market forces could the demand for traditional brass bands for certain events inspire someone to create a 'professional' brass band?